Natalie Cole may be the daughter of jazz legend Nat King Cole and therefore born into a legacy of soulful jazz stylings, but the vocalist has ventured into new territory: Spanish language music.
Cole’s new album and her first Spanish-language musical release has soared straight to the top of the Billboard’s “Top Latin Albums” chart. The 63-year-old R&B crooner’s newest effort – titled “Natalie Cole en Español” – is officially the top-selling Spanish language music album in the country.
And while the prospect of Cole swaying her hips to her very own bachata tune – her first single is a duet with Juan Luis Guerra on his classic hit “Bachata Rosa” – seems strange, consider this: her father released a Spanish language album in 1958 and Cole’s first memories of Latino culture stem from a trip to Mexico shortly thereafter.
“They loved, loved, loved him,” the multiple-Grammy award winner said in a press release of her first trip to Mexico as a child with her famous father. “And I loved what he loved. So I fell in love with the culture.”
Cole’s ties to Latin culture also go further than her childhood trip to Mexico: the singer underwent a kidney transplant in 2009 and the donor was from El Salvador. Those ties – as well as a Latin music producer, several renditions of her father’s famous Spanish-language hits and a language coach – helped create an album that Cole described to NBC’s theGrio as an opportunity of a lifetime.
“It’s just such a great inspiration to know that I can step into that world legitimately,” Cole said during an interview with theGrio. “Being my dad’s daughter has allowed me to do a lot of things that maybe another artist might not be able to do or wouldn’t have necessarily embraced doing. It’s extraordinary to me that I would be even doing something like this. It’s great.”
–Courtesy of NBC Latino