LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Singer Natalie Cole died of a rare lung disease that was first diagnosed five years ago and led to heart failure, her family said.
In the first official news on her cause of death on Dec 31, the family of the Grammy-winning jazz, pop and soul singer said that Cole was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension after a successful kidney transplant in 2009.
"She responded well to pulmonary arterial hypertension specific agents over many years, during which she performed many concerts worldwide, but eventually succumbed to intractable right heart failure, an outcome that unfortunately commonly occurs in this progressive disorder," her family said in a statement on Friday.
Cole's death at age 65 in a Los Angeles hospital caused an outpouring of tributes from the music world for the daughter of late singing legend Nat King Cole.
Cole underwent a kidney transplant after being diagnosed with hepatitis C following a period of heroin, crack and drug abuse and came back to perform concerts around the world.