Natalie Cole has every right to be upset with Thursday’s finale episode of “American Idol.”
During the broadcast, Jennifer Hudson performed Cole’s staple hit “Inseparable” with Season 12 winner Candice Glover.
Cole, who won the 1975 best new artist of the year Grammy award, complained via Twitter at 8:30 p.m. PT Thursday. “Make no mistake. ‘Inseparable’ was NOT originally recorded by @IAMJHUD but by ME,” she wrote.
Cole slammed the singing competition for the decision. “@AmericanIdol ought to be ashamed of themselves!Im seriously offended! # #Idol #idolfinale,” Cole wrote in a Tweet that she has since deleted.
Make no mistake. "Inseparable" was NOT originally recorded by @iamjhud but by ME.
— Natalie Cole (@NatMCole) May 17, 2013
“Inseparable,” the title track of Cole’s 1975 gold-certified debut, reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart.
I get her point. In other instances, “Idol” has had legendary singers perform on the finale episode with contestants. During Season 8, Adam Lambert sang “We Are The Champions” with Queen, and with Kiss, he sang a medley of “Beth,” “Detroit Rock City” and “Rock and Roll All Nite.” Last year, Jennifer Holliday sang her song “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” with Jessica Sanchez.
Why wasn’t Cole extended the same opportunity?
Cole’s fury was mostly met with rejection online. “Natalie should be ashamed of this and she should apologize for this,” Corey Wilson wrote in a post on Cole’s Facebook page. “No one said that JHud was the first person to record this it was Candice’s idol pick. She should be honored even thankful young people even know who she is. Sit down and take several seats.”
Various Twitter users stressed, “Relax,” “They can sing that song girl,” and “Adam Lambert didn’t originally record Titanium’ either, Sia did…and he sang that with Angie. It’s okay.”
But some came her defense. Renee Martin agreed with Cole’s rant. “I so am old school and knew that…wish you had been on the show!”
When I heard Candice belt the song’s, infectious, elongated opening note, “In-in- separable” and later saw a silhouette at the top of the stage, I was hopeful that the original voice behind this song from my youth would be gracing the stage. I’m always happy to see the incredibly talented Jennifer Hudson sing, but felt that she had stolen Cole’s moment.
It reminded of Beyoncé stealing Etta James’ moment in 2009 when Mrs. Carter sang James’ “At Last” at President Barack Obama’s The Neighborhood Inaugural Ball and caught the late Blues legend’s wrath.
Cole was actually much nicer than James, who had crass words for Beyoncé. James said that Beyoncé was “going to get her a—whipped” for “singing my song.”
Cole still looks and sounds great. I definitely would have preferred to see her sing her own song.