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Robert Yancy, son of Natalie Cole, dead at 39

Robert Yancy, the son of the late R&B singer Natalie Cole, has died of an apparent heart attack, TMZ reports. He was 39.

Yancy's body was reportedly found in his San Fernando Valley apartment by a friend who stopped by to check on him after not hearing from him for several days.

Family members told the gossip site that authorities contacted them early Tuesday morning to report that Yancy had died of a heart attack.

An autopsy is still pending, though his death is currently being attributed to natural causes.

Yancy's mother, the legendary Natalie Cole, died in 2015 of congestive heart failure after a years-long substance abuse battle.

Still, his family members insist that drugs were not involved in his passing, as he was clean and working on "turning his life around."

Yancy was born to Cole and her first husband, Marvin Yancy, a former member of the R&B group The Independents whom she wed in 1976. Cole and Yancy divorced in 1980, and he died of a heart attack at 34 in 1985.

Yancy spoke up in defense of his mother a year after her death, when he slammed her Grammys tribute as “unacceptable.” Cole, who was the first African-American to win the "Best New Artist" award, did not receive a tribute or verbal mention. Her only acknowledgement was a photo in an "In Memoriam" montage.

“She deserves more than that because she has done so much,” he said at the time. “To have my mother treated with the disdain and disrespect that she was treated with last night, it's just unacceptable. It was not right.”

Cole’s father was legendary jazz musician Nat King Cole. He died of lung cancer in 1965.

Yancy reportedly worked in the music industry, and had previously gone on tour with his mother.

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