Tributes have been paid to singer Natalie Cole, who has died aged 65. Cole’s death was announced on Friday in a statement from her her son Robert Yancy and sisters Timolin and Casey Cole, who said she had fought a fierce, courageous battle in her final days.

Natalie ColeNatalie Cole has died aged 65.

"It is with heavy hearts that we bring to you all the news of our mother and sister's passing,” the statement read. "Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived..with dignity, strength and honour."

“Our beloved mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain UNFORGETTABLE in our hearts forever.” Cole suffered from various health problems over the years, including hepatitis C and kidney failure.

On Instagram Tony Bennett shared a picture of himself with Cole writing: ‘I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Natalie Cole, as I have cherished the long friendship I had with her, her father Nat, and the family over the years. She was a lovely and generous person who will be greatly missed.’

Singer Jordin Sparks wrote: ‘Rest in everlasting love. I'm sure the heavens are absolutely loving you and your dad rejoicing together. 'Unforgettable in every way....' That you are, Natalie, that you are.’

Rev Jesse Jackson tweeted: ‘#NatalieCole, sister beloved & of substance and sound. May her soul rest in peace. #Inseperable.’ Singer Paula Abdul added, ‘I'm so sad #NatalieCole has passed. She was grace & dignity personified. I feel grateful & honored I got a chance to know her. #RIPNatalie.’

The daughter of Nat King Cole, Natalie Cole broke into the music business in 1975 with her single ‘This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)’, which peaked on the Billboard chart at number six. Successful singles such as ‘Inseparable’, and ‘Our Love’ followed, before her career began to stall as she struggled with substance abuse issues.

In 1987 she returned to the top of the charts with her album Dangerous, which included a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Pink Cadillac’. In 1991 she released Unforgettable... with Love, which featured covers of standards previously performed by her father, Nat King Cole. The album topped the chart in the US and won the 1992 Grammy Award for Album of the Year.