Smokey Robinson Pays Tribute To Longtime Friend Natalie Cole & Says The Music Icon ‘Didn’t Look Good’ Leading Up To Her Death

Natalie Cole and Smokey Robinson

The music world lost an icon last week when Natalie Cole died from congestive heart failure at the age of 65.

Longtime pal and fellow music legend Smokey Robinson joined in with remembering the This Will Be songstress in a new interview with ET.

Robinson said the two became “instant” friends when initially meeting after the release of her first hit back in 1975:

“Natalie was so cool, she was down to earth.”

Related: Natalie Cole Dead At 65 — Celebs React

While the 75-year-old calls the Unforgettable singer “one of our greatest musical icons,” he admits that he recognized her health failing in the months leading up to her death:

“About nine months or so ago, we did a concert together in Arizona, and when I saw her that day she didn’t look good to me. She lost a lot of weight and stuff, and I could tell because I had known her for so long and [we were] so close. The last time I was able to talk to her was the night of the concert, before I went on. We hugged and talked and that was the last time I had a chance to have a good talk with her.”

The Being With You singer says those good talks are what he’ll miss most with the daughter of famed musician Nat King Cole:

“Just being able to say, ‘Hey Nat, how are you doing baby?’ Sit down and talk like that. That is what I am going to miss, because we spent a lot of time together. I hope even people that don’t or didn’t get a chance to know her personally will understand that her legacy is that she was a wonderful lady. She is going to live on and on and on. She made great music and people who knew her loved her.”

So sad.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who knew and loved Natalie.

[Image via WENN.]

Jan 4, 2016 1:07pm PDT

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