Natalie Cole on stage at Taste of Chicago

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Singer Natalie Cole took the audience on a musical odyssey of jazz, pop and R&B at the 2011 Taste of Chicago on June 30. The 61-year-old daughter of legendary crooner Nat “King” Cole is a legend in her own right too. She has eight Grammy Award

Singer Natalie Cole took the audience on a musical odyssey of jazz, pop and R&B at the 2011 Taste of Chicago on June 30. The 61-year-old daughter of legendary crooner Nat “King” Cole is a legend in her own right too. She has eight Grammy Awards to help prove it.

Along the way, Cole’s life has had twists and turns: drug addiction, hepatitis C and, recently, a kidney transplant.

Cole opened her set on the Petrillo Music Stage in Grant Park with jazz standards Summer Sun and Come Rain or Shine. She even tackled her father’s zippy Route 66 with graceful flair. When an image of Chicago native son Nat “King” Cole appeared onscreen the crowd cheered. Father and daughter then launched into the duet Unforgettable from her 1991 album Unforgettable…With Love. As the pair sang, images of them flashed across the screen.

As rain clouds loomed, Cole sang and danced to her hits, Tell Me All About It and Mr. Melody. She showed her voice’s dexterity with R&B classics Sophisticated Lady and

Annie Mae. As the rain poured, the crowd took refuge and sang along to the hits, Inseparable, I’ve Got Love On My Mind.

A minor setback with equipment didn’t deter Cole, she encouraged the crowd to take pictures of her while the problem was being fixed. Women clapped and waved their hands as she sang the torch song, I’m Catching Hell (Living Here Alone). Cole closed her hourlong set with 70s chart topper, This Will Be.

Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender

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