Natalie Cole’s Family Outraged Over ‘Disrespectful’ Grammys Tribute

Singer Natalie Cole
Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock

Natalie Cole’s family is not happy with the 58th Grammy Awards’ tribute to the late singer-songwriter.

The awards show paid homage to Cole, who died of congestive heart failure on Dec. 31, 2015, with a video clip of the R&B singer performing a virtual duet of “Unforgettable” with her father, renowned jazz pianist Nat King Cole.

As David Bowie, B.B. King, Lemmy Kilmister and Glenn Frey, who all died in 2015, were celebrated with honorary musical performances during the awards ceremony, Cole’s family members considered the brief video tribute insufficient.

“Words cannot express the outrage and utter disappointment at the disrespectful tribute, or lack thereof, to a legendary artist such as our sister,” Cole’s sisters, Timolin and Casey, told ET.

Added Cole’s son Robert Adam Yancy: “Here is a woman who has been in the business for four decades, had 21 Grammy nominations and won nine Grammys. She deserves more than (to be a part of) a minute-and-a-half tribute. It was shameless the way they minimized her legacy. We will find solace in her legacy as well as her endless fans around the world.”

Cole was known for hits including “This Will Be,” “I Live for Your Love” and “Unforgettable.” She also dabbled in acting in her later years, landing guest appearances on TV series including “Touched by an Angel,” “I’ll Fly Away,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Law & Order: SVU.”

Fans as well as other artists and entertainment figures including Toni Braxton, Holly Robinson Peete and Lee Daniels also took note of Cole’s brief Grammys tribute, resorting to social media to voice their disappointment:

Disappointed in Grammys… Come y'all … She deserved a better tribute #9grammyswon really???… R.I.P 🙏🏿❤️🙏🏿

A post shared by Lee Daniels (@theoriginalbigdaddy) on

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    1. Sentimorodin says:

      ” A complete disappointment,this people should use a more profound decision when dealing with a singer like Natalie Cole & what she represents for america; whoso ever responsible defaulted.

    2. sorry for their loss, but truthfully she was a minor artist who rose to fame by singing a duet with her dead father. nowhere near the mark on the music industry of Bowie, Frey, etc. Maurice White on other hand deserved a “full” tribute.

    3. James Armato says:

      Actually, David Bowie and Glenn Frey passed away in the beginning of 2016. And she had a longer tribute than Ronnie James Dio did.

    4. Koko Brown says:

      The Natalie Cole and Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire tributes were BS. That last minute a capella by Stevie Wonder wasn’t fitting for a man who founded a group that sold just as much as the Eagles and matched them in Grammy wins. Not mad or surprised. I stopped watching the show years ago, and only tuned in because I was flipping through stations. The Grammy’s focus is rock n’roll and everyone else can suck it.

    5. Bob Bodi says:

      Pretty boring stuff. After the Eagles and Lady Gaga, the who show was a snore.

    6. Cindy Cee says:

      perhaps her crime is that she didn’t have a penis.

    7. jjules says:

      I don’t mean to speak ill of the dead but she was no music legend. She had a couple of hits of her own before exploiting her father’s hits. Now Nat was a true legend. Natalie not so much. Rest in peace.

    8. Cass says:

      Um, what? She isn’t exactly the legend like her father. Name another song she sang besides the one her dad did for her, go. Reel it in Cole fam. Rip Natalie.

      • Cindy Cee says:

        she has a string of them. just because you dont know them doesnt mean she didnt have hits. 9 grammys aint nothin

        • Koko Brown says:

          My favorite song by her was This Will Be. She had a huge career in the 70s before she was waylaid by drug addiction, then came back and hit it big again twenty years later.

    9. Stevie says:

      rap/compton drake NWA all belong in the gutter not the grammys. too political. the chain bs from kendrick was totally boring. boring boring decades old theme boring. man up. fix it. shut up. welcome to the world

    10. Jedi77 says:

      “as well as her endless fans around the world” – what is an “endless fan”?

    11. key2kool says:

      What did you expect the master of illusion had 2 drum up something from the Grammies after all he couldn’t allow the Oscars 2 get all of the negative publicity

    12. Jo Mama says:

      This is hysterical! The Grammys have been a joke my entire lifetime, so that makes this outrage an even bigger joke. What shall it be? #grammyssodisprespectful? To think that 23 people have been shot in Chicago this week alone, 4 of them fatally. And to think in JUST 2016 in CHICAGO ALONE 395 people have been shot, 86 fatally. Chi-raq really inspired them… to shoot more people.

      LET’S END THE CULTURE OF SHOOTING ONE ANOTHER… AND THEN YOU CAN BITCH ABOUT SEGMENTS FOR DEAD ARTISTS YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT. But it seems completely going to plan, don’t you think? The truly uneducated ones are in gangs shooting each other, and what are the responsible ones doing? Clinging to pop culture and bitching about every single thing they can find. And the actually educated ones? They leave and turn their back on the culture, knowing they can’t help. There isn’t a single leader in their community who talks sense. They just want airtime, nominations, bling bling, and God knows what other fake words they made up recently. The ones who think they know something to advance them don’t even try to advance the situation (Z, Spike), lest they be seen as traitors. They just find ways to exploit them even more, making millions.

      Less than 5,000 lynchings in history and you’ve shot millions of one another and are still so mad at… who exactly?

    13. Actually after watching the Bowie tribute – If I were here family I would have been relieved. Who wants to remembered by Intel. (Bowie must be fuming) I agree she was a niche artist, but so was Lemy. The difference between the two is that Lemy influenced a whole genre.

    14. Lynnsie says:

      Pit Bull and his dancing girls over a tribute to Natalie? Johnny and Alice Cooper over a tribute to Natalie? Give me a break. That girl carried us with her into the clouds and stars when she let fly with that effortless, pure voice. Joy in my heart whenever I listened. So many of us loved and appreciated you, Natalie. You’re unforgettable. The decision these morons made to trivialize your gigantic talent and enormous contribution to the world of music? Unforgivable, inexcusable and disgraceful. I don’t care what they’re wanting to sell and promote.

    15. John Miller says:

      The objective of the Grammys is to sell as much product as possible. If they don’t think the time they spend on-air will lead to corresponding sales, you can forget it. Cole didn’t make the cut.

    16. With all due respect, Natalie Cole was a niche artist with a small but loyal following who obviously did great work and was an excellent performer. But she wasn’t her father. And she wasn’t David Bowie, B.B. King, Lemmy Kilmister who was not my growling cup of tea, or even Glenn Frey, who I personally spun off the dial every time his insipid neo-hillbilly band came on the radio back in the day. Not in terms of changing the industry or reaching a broad audience, and thus her percentage of the awards ceremony was more than adequate a tribute to her passing. Don’t ruin it by whining. Nobody wants to look or sound like Cam Newton sniveling on the ground after the Super Bowl.

      • BlueFox94 says:

        In terms of pop success, sure. But Natalie is a multi-Grammy Award winner compared to those other musical legends. Say what you will about the Grammy Awards, but the least they could’ve done for one of their more heralded recipients (9 isn’t even close to a Grammy record, but it’s still a fair amount) is to pay a more extended tribute to them, preferably in the form of an actual tribute performance by artists inspired by her career.

        • James says:

          I knew who Natalie Cole was but had no idea who that Lemmy guy was. I think she should have been honored more thoroughly too, especially considering what she did for the Grammy’s as an artist.

    17. Nick says:

      Just a small correction: David Bowie and Glenn Frey died in 2016, not 2015.

      • So what exactly is an “insipid neo-hillbilly band”? The Eagles resonated with millions of Americans and millions more around the world. They broke records with their song writing and album sales because they were the best of the best. You just don’t know good music and talent when you see it.

    18. quickdraw59 says:

      I totally agree with Natalie Cole’s family. The woman won 9 Grammys–and gets a “too bad, so sad” sendoff, in a blink and you will miss it, video montage. Seems certain priorities are met at the gush fest known as the Grammys, while extraordinary artists like Ms. Cole are forgotten. There were quite a few extraneous minutes that could have been downsized to make room for a tribute to her–shame on the Grammys for failing to do that.

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