In The News

Former jazz singer Maria Cole passes away

Former jazz singer Maria Cole passes away

THE death has taken place of the former singer Maria Cole who was the widow of Nat King Cole. She was 89.

Maria had been a successful jazz singer before marrying Nat King Cole in 1948. She had performed with the likes of Count Basie and Duke Ellington.

During the 1950s she travelled and sang with her husband.

The couple had been together for 17 years when Nat King Cole passed away in 1965. Following his death Maria established the Cole Cancer Foundation.

In interviews Maria would recall how she and her husband had faced discrimination during the early years of their marriage. This included the fact that her husband’s TV show, in the late 1950s, ended after a year because sponsors feared they could face boycotts in Southern states if they backed a show which was hosted by an African American.

Marie Cole passed away at a hospice in Florida. She had been suffering from cancer.

In a statement, her children — Timolin, Casey and the singer Natalie — described their mother as having been “in a class all by herself”.

They added: “She epitomised class and elegance, and truly defined what it is to be a real lady.”


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