Artist: Nat King Cole
Album: L-O-V-E (1965)
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Nathaniel Adams Cole, known professionally as Nat King Cole, was an American singer, jazz pianist, and actor. His career as a jazz and pop vocalist started in the late 1930s and spanned almost three decades. He recorded over 100 songs that became hits on the pop charts. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a Special Achievement Golden Globe Award, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Cole started his career as a jazz pianist in the late 1930s, where he formed The King Cole Trio which became the top-selling group (and the only black act) on Capitol Records in the 1940s. His trio was the model for small jazz ensembles that followed. In 1950 he transitioned to become a solo singer billed as Nat King Cole. Despite achieving mainstream success, during his career he faced intense racial discrimination. He was a member of his local NAACP branch and participated in the 1963 March on Washington. He regularly performed for civil rights organizations. From 1956 to 1957, he hosted the NBC variety series The Nat King Cole Show, which became the first nationally broadcast television show hosted by an African American.
L-O-V-E is one of his most popular songs, from his final studio album, L-O-V-E. It was released shortly before his death in 1965. The album peaked at #4 on the Billboard Albums chart in the spring of 1965. The initial Billboard magazine review from January 30, 1965 commented that it was “One of the finest Nat Cole albums to date! He’s in great form as he breathes new life into some fine standard material…The title tune is a Cole classic!”.