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Family, fans of Natalie Cole react to 'disrespectful' Grammys tribute

By
Marilyn Malara
Natalie Cole arrives on the red carpet at Gabrielle's Angel Foundation hosts Angel Ball 2014 at Cipriani in New York City on October 20, 2014. Gabrielle's Angel Foundation for Cancer research was created in 1966 by Denise Rich. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Natalie Cole arrives on the red carpet at Gabrielle's Angel Foundation hosts Angel Ball 2014 at Cipriani in New York City on October 20, 2014. Gabrielle's Angel Foundation for Cancer research was created in 1966 by Denise Rich. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- The Recording Academy is under fire by fans and family of late singer Natalie Cole after the Grammy award ceremony failed to produce a "respectful" tribute to the late songstress.

Although Cole was mentioned during the Memorium segment of the awards ceremony, the 9-time Grammy winner did not receive a musical tribute.

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David Bowie, B.B. King, Glenn Frey and Lionel Richie all were given their own dedication performances during Monday night's event.

Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, Cole's sisters, Timolin and Casey Cole said the brief clip of Natalie Cole singing "Unforgettable," during the Memorium slideshow was "sadly a forgettable," one.

"Words cannot express the outrage and utter disappointment at the disrespectful tribute, or lack thereof, to a legendary artist such as our sister."

Cole's son, Robert Adam Yancy, also chimed in, saying "Here is a woman who has been in the business for four decades, had 21 Grammy nominations and won nine Grammys. She deserves more than [to be part of] a minute-and-a-half tribute."

"It was shameless the way they minimized her legacy," he said. "We will find solace in her legacy as well as her endless fans around the world."

Fans and other celebrities also voiced their disapproval of the treatment of Cole at the awards show.

"We lost so many greats but Natalie Cole 1st African American to win Best New Artist deserves a tribute," actress Holly Robinson Peete wrote on Twitter.

"Natalie Cole... 9 Grammys and only gets a photo in remembrance montage. David Bowie...1 Grammy and he received a 7 minute tribute," wrote CNN correspondent Chris Witherspoon on Twitter.

Natalie Cole, daughter to late R&B singer Nat King Cole, died on Dec. 31 of lung disease. The "Unforgettable" singer was 65 years old.

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