Born to one of the most important musicians of the 20th century, it was almost inevitable that Natalie Cole would become a celebrated musician in her own right. Her father, Nat King Cole, was a jazz pianist who still is considered to be one of the most famous musicians in American history. Natalie Cole first spilled onto the musical scene in 1975 with a debut album called ‘Inseparable’. Often labelled as having a soul voice to the caliber of Aretha Franklin, Cole won her first Grammy in 1976. Since then, her musical career has celebrated many successes. Her personal life, however, went from one low point to the next.
As described in her tell-all autobiography ‘Angel On My Shoulder’, released in 2000, Natalie Cole battled a long-lasting drug addiction. In the book she admits to having taken crack cocaine and heroin. She was reportedly arrested in Canada in 1975 for possesion of heroin, and almost lost her son in a near-drowning accident when he fell (unsupervised) into the family pool while she was on a drug binge. After years of drug addiction and countless binges, she entered rehab in 1983. “At some point everything starts disintegrating around you, and you have to make a choice. That one commitment to do whatever it takes means exactly what it says. It’s not easy,” she said of her decision to seek treatment. Natalie Cole maintains she has not taken drugs since she entered rehab.
In 2008, Cole made a shocking announcement: she was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, which she reportedly contracted during her time as a drug addict. Thanks to medical treatment administered at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles, Cole is now negative. But her health problems didn’t end there. A few months later it was revealed that Cole was suffering from kidney problems, and was receiving dialysis up to three times a week. On May 20, 2009, Cole had a kidney transplant. She is reportedly doing well and launched her latest tour in September of 2009.
Other celebrities who suffer from Hepatitis C include Pamela Anderson.
Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Natalie_Cole_at_the_44th_Emmy_Awards_cropped_and_airbrushed.jpg, photographed by Alan Light.