Natalie Cole celebrates ABCD’s 50 years


Grammy winner Natalie Cole didn’t give us an official set list for her performance at Friday’s ABCD 50th Anniversary Gala, but she promised that she’ll play what people want to hear. “The most expected song is ‘Unforgettable.’ As long as they hear ‘Unforgettable’ . . .” she said, with a laugh, of the hit made famous by her dad, Nat King Cole. Cole will join ABCD supporters — as well as the night’s guest speaker, Mark K. Shriver — at the celebration, which will be at the Marriott Copley Place. It’ll be a homecoming for Cole, who did a lot of growing up here. Her mother was from Cambridge and wanted all of her kids to get an East Coast education, which is why Cole wound up at Northfield Mount Hermon School and then at UMass Amherst. “They said I had an accent when I got back,” Cole said of living in the Bay State. Don’t be surprised if Cole shares some Latin beats during her performance this weekend. She told us that her next album, which will be out next year, is a Miami-influenced soundtrack that has her following in her dad’s footsteps again. “My father did two Spanish records in the ’60s that were huge for him.” Asked what she’s listening to now, Cole said she’s “all over the place.” “I’ve always been a fan of Rihanna. John Legend. I just downloaded Diana Krall.” Last we checked, tickets to the gala were still on sale. ABCD, which is based in Boston, helps families and communities get out of poverty.

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