Two of Natalie Cole's younger sisters, twins Casey and Timolin Cole, run a nonprofit called The Nat King Cole Generation Hope, which is dedicated to supporting music education in public schools.
Casey Cole talked with NPR's Michel Martin about the life, art and legacy of her sister Natalie Cole.
Click on the audio link above to hear the conversation, or read below for some excerpts from the radio interview, as well as two Web-only Q&As.
On Natalie Cole as an artist
Her pitch was perfect. Her tone was amazing. When she sang, it was if she was literally singing to you. Similarly to our father, she drew you in, she captivated you. Not only with her voice, but with her charm, with her diction. When she sang it was if she really, really, really had a part of her in every single lyric of that song, so you were right there with her.
On the singer's early struggles with drugs
Natalie conquered, if you will, those demons, with her strength and with her faith and with the support of so many people around her. My sister was a warrior.
On her later health struggles
She never stopped performing, she never stopped working, she was a true artist— very loyal to her craft and to her passion.
Her health was failing but her spirit was very, very strong. I think that most people who were faced with the challenges health-wise that she had been faced with over the last few years, would have given up. ... She needed to keep going, that's who she was. That was her gift to the world and her fans.