In a 2013 file photo, Grammy winning singer-songwriter Natalie Cole poses for a portrait in promotion of her new album "Natalie Cole en Espanol," in New York. Picture: Victoria Will/ Invision/ AP/ File

Pretoria - Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has joined the international community in mourning the death of Natalie Cole, who died at the age of 65 in Los Angeles on Thursday night.

Natalie Cole was the daughter of jazz legend Nat King Cole, and a music star in her own right.

“Natalie Cole was a songbird supreme, whom we will remember for her nostalgic and thoughtful yet modern musical renditions, especially her hit, ‘Unforgettable’, where she paid tribute to the music of her father Nat King Cole. Now we in turn pay tribute to her,” Mthethwa said on Saturday.

“Her life was not an easy one, but she managed to face the challenges that plagued her earlier success and emerged out of these difficulties as a greater musician and more enduring star.

“With album titles such as ‘Inseparable’, ‘Everlasting’, and ‘Unforgettable… with love’, and more recently ‘Still Unforgettable’, we shall remember her for capturing the emotions of timelessness and an appreciation for abundant love. She conveyed how precious and fragile time is in the lives of humankind. Yet her music also expressed a desire to transcend the mere workings of history and rather to seek to commune with eternity,” he said.

“As South Africans, we shall remember her fondly, as our sister in song, and our comrade against apartheid. We shall never forget her defiant rendition of ‘Pink Cadillac’ at the London concert in celebration of our former president Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday in 1988 at a time when he was still in prison and when apartheid repression was still at its height. Our heartfelt condolences go to the family of Natalie Cole,” Mthethwa said.