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Natalie Cole pays tribute to her father and kidney donor on ‘En Espanol’

Natalie Cole

Natalie Cole

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NATALIE COLE AND RAMSEY LEWIS

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Ravinia, 418 Sheridan, Highland Park

Tickets: $22-$65

Info: (847) 266-5100; ravinia.org

Updated: September 28, 2013 6:09AM



“Natalie Cole en Espanol,” the latest disc from the veteran pop/R&B singer, could be regarded as “un beso” to her famous father.

After all, her dad, the Chicago-reared hitmaker Nat King Cole, released three albums in Spanish from 1958 to 1962. Earlier in her career, Natalie recorded a tribute to her father, “Unforgettable … With Love,” and this disc features another duet with her dad, “Acercate Mas.”

But the impetus for this project was even more personal. In 2009, she underwent a kidney transplant, and her donor organ came from a deceased fan in El Salvador. “I don’t believe in coincidences, and now I have a Latin kidney,” said Cole, 63, who performs Wednesday at Ravinia. “I had been thinking about making a Spanish album for over a decade, and then this [transplant] saved my life.”

Her father also influenced her to love Latin music, “so I know he would approve.”

Laura Emerick



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