The sister of the late Natalie Cole, Timolin Cole, says she was disappointed by the Recording Academy’s tribute to the late singer during Monday’s 58th annual Grammy Awards. Timolin told the Associated Press that the producer of the award show, Ken Ehrlich, told the family of their plans to memorialize the singer who died on New Year’s Eve at the age of 65. She said,
We envisioned some kind of a tribute that isolated her that had some sort of significant time allotted for it. It was just not reflective of her stature.
Ehrlich has responded, telling Billboard,
Frankly, I think it was appropriate.
He added that the clip was a “touching and emotional” tribute.
For the record, there was an email exchange, and I told Timolin what we were doing, and she seemed to be very happy with it. And what I told her is that we had talked about having an artist do something for Natalie; at one point I was playing around with ‘Miss You Like Crazy,’ because I love that song. But when I looked again at the Grammy show we did where she won for ‘Unforgettable,’ and I saw the last 45 seconds of that number, where her father (Nat King Cole, on the big screen) throws her a kiss, she throws him a kiss, and then she turns to the audience and throws everybody a kiss — that just was so touching and so emotional to me that that felt like it had to be the end of the whole ‘In Memoriam’ segment. I hadn’t looked at that clip in several years, but when I saw it again, I knew it was right.
Other celebrities have weighed in on Natalie’s tribute.
Truly disappointed the #Grammys didn’t think they should do a more extended tribute to Natalie Cole tonight. She was the first African American EVER to win for Best New Artist and her legacy in this business is unprecedented across all genres of music. The Unforgettable performances she had on the Grammys and over 4 decades of music should have been enough to bring out A list artists to tribute her…and no shade but I could suggest several numbers that could have been shorter- or not there at all -that could have been used to celebrate this wonderful artist. Hopefully BET awards will do an amazing tribute to her. PS: Stacey Dash: that’s why we have the #BET Awards when people of color do not get properly tributed on a mainstream award show then we celebrate them ourselves… see how that works?? smh #yesimsaltyAH tonight ? I miss my Sweetie so much. #NatalieCole #unforgettable #restinparadise #blackhistorymonth
A photo posted by Lee Daniels (@theoriginalbigdaddy) on
For all you gave, you should have been acknowledged and honored in the correct way by your #Grammys musical family and peers. Shame on those who thought otherwise. It takes nothing away from anyone else’s brilliance. It simply means fairness wasn’t a factor. We will remember, honor, respect and love you always Queen #NatalieCole. ?????? Only Love.
[Associated Press, Billboard]