LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Music industry luminaries, family and friends gathered Monday in South Los Angeles to pay tribute to Grammy-winning singer Natalie Cole, who died New Year’s Eve at age 65.
Family and friends including singers Smokey Robinson, Lionel Richie, and Stevie Wonder paid their respects to Cole during the service at West Angeles Church of God in Christ located at Crenshaw and Exposition boulevards, where Cole was once a member, according to a spokesperson for the family.
“I feel so blessed to have called you my friend, and my buddy, and many times my confidante,” Robinson said. “You are so real and down to Earth. Now I have to say you’re so real and up to heaven.”
R&B singer Chaka Khan and music producer David Foster were also among the dignitaries in attendance at the hours-long service in the 5,000-seat venue.
Cole, best known for her “Unforgettable” duet with her late father Nat “King” Cole, died News Year’s Evefrom what her family described as congestive heart failure after years of health challenges stemming from a 2009 kidney transplant.
Cole was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale alongside her parents Nat King Cole and Maria Hawkins.
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