Maria Cole, Jazz Singer, Dies at 89

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Maria Cole, well known for her powerful singing voice, died this past Tuesday. Cole (also known as Maria Ellington) was widow of the late Nat King Cole, and mother to: Timolin, Casey, and well-known singer Natalie Cole.

Early in Maria Cole's career, she sang alongside of some of the jazz era's greatest performers, such as Count Basie and Duke Ellington.

Maria Cole traveled and performed with Nat throughout the 1950s. After Nat died from cancer in 1965, Maria Cole created the Cole Cancer Foundation.

According to Yahoo News, Maria Cole's children released the following statement about their mom:

"Our mom was in a class all by herself. She epitomized, class, elegance, and truly defined what it is to be a real lady. ... She died how she lived — with great strength, courage and dignity, surrounded by her loving family."

Maria Cole died in Boca Raton, Florida at the nursing home where she was staying during her battle with cancer. She was 89 years old.

Various fans and celebrities from Twitter have been paying their respects to Cole:

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