Natalie Cole secretly married her producer Marvin Yancey Jr., the lead singer of The Independents today (July 31, 1976).
The couple did not announce their union until seven months later, on Valentine’s Day of the following year.
Natalie Cole and Marvin Yancey Jr. met in the fall of 1974, when they auditioned for one another, as producer and performer,
They eventually agreed to work with each other on various music projects.
Natalie Cole, daughter of singer Nat “King” Cole, said that her relationship with Yancey did not start off romantic.
“Marvin and I didn’t really hook up emotionally until halfway through the first album we did together,” Natalie Cole said. “He just told me one night, ‘Now that business is over, I want to tell you that I really dig you.’”
The two maintained an on-again, off-again relationship.
Natalie Cole, who was engaged to a member of her band, flew to Chigago in hopes of finding Yancey, to convince him to cancel his wedding, so they could marry.
Natalie Cole and Marvin Yancy Jr. were officially married while driving down Chicago’s Lakeshore Drive in the backseat of an Eldorado.
Yancey (who was a minister) was on his way to conduct a funeral, and Cole had to catch a plane to Los Angeles, so the couple got a minister friend to perform the ceremony, as his wife drove.