Freddy Cole, brother of Nat King Cole, has died at 88

The Grammy-nominated singer and pianist passed away on June 27.

American jazz musician Freddy Cole—the brother of Nat King Cole—passed away on June 27 at the age of 88.

Cole died in his Atlanta home, due to complications arising from a cardiovascular ailment, his manager Suzi Reynolds told The Washington Post.

The pianist and singer, who broke through with his 1953 hit “Whispering Grass,” was for a time overshadowed by his elder brother Nat King Cole—who was the person to encourage Freddy to pursue music in the first place.


Freddy acknowledged this constant comparison throughout his career, titling his fifth album The Cole Nobody Knows and making a statement in 1990 with I’m Not My Brother, I’m Me. “Everything has its own bottom. I sit on mine. Nat sat on his,” he reminded the New York Times in 1978. “Club owners have always wanted me to do Nat’s songs. I tell them I’m not my brother—I’m me.”

Nevertheless, Freddy did find success on his own: He earned four Best Jazz Vocal Album Grammy nominations over the course of his career, including for his 2010 album Freddy Cole Sings Mr B and 2018’s My Mood is You.

RIP, Freddy Cole. Listen to a compilation of his best songs below:


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