The son of legendary 70’s singer Natalie Cole was found dead Monday night. According to TMZ and other media reports, he was only 39 at the time of his death.
The body of Robert Yancy was found in his San Fernando Valley apartment in California when a concerned friend who hadn’t heard from him in a few days checked up on him.
Family members told reporters that authorities contacted them at 2:30 AM Tuesday. An initial investigation confirmed that Robert died of a heart attack, though an autopsy will be formally conducted. Law enforcement reported that the death is being listed as a death from natural causes, but that can change once the formal autopsy and toxicology tests are completed.
Apparently, drugs were not involved, despite his mother’s history with drug abuse. Natalie Cole famously fought drug addiction throughout her adult life until her 2015 death at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. Her cause of death was confirmed as congestive heart failure, a result from drug abuse such as heroin.
Family members say Robert, who is also the grandson of Nat King Cole, had never abused drugs and was “turning his life around.” He worked in the music industry. Robert’s dad died of a heart attack at age 34, so there is a possibility that heart disease runs in the family.
Natalie Cole rose to musical success in the mid-1970s as an R&B artist with the hits “This Will Be”, “Inseparable” (1975), and “Our Love” (1977). Cole re-emerged as a pop artist with the 1987 album Everlasting and her cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac”
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