Great-nephew of Nat King Cole stabbed to death in downtown Atlanta, ME confirms

ATLANTA — The great-nephew of jazz great Nat King Cole has been identified as the victim of a fatal stabbing near Centennial Olympic Park.

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Tracy Cole, 31, was stabbed multiple times early Thursday morning on the 300 block of Centennial Olympic Park Drive. He was taken to the hospital, where he died.


Cole was the grandson of Freddy Cole, one of Nat King Cole’s three brothers. Freddy Cole was also a renowned jazz singer and pianist who was inducted into the Georgia Hall of Fame in 2007. Freddy Cole was born in Chicago but lived in Atlanta for most of his career and died in 2020.

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Police have not said if they’ve identified a suspect or a motive.

Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes was in downtown Atlanta Friday, where there was still yellow tape left behind at the scene of the stabbing.

Family friend Camille Love described Tracy as a nice young man who was always with his grandfather Freddy.

“I met Tacy probably when his grandfather brought him to the Nancy Wilson concert at Chastain Park during the Atlanta Jazz Festival,” Love said. “He was delightful, you know? He was just kind, gentle, easy-going. Liked the good life. You know, just an all-around good guy.”

Love said Tracy was well-known around town and very liked.

“He was kinda like a Bon Vivant, you know? He had grown up in the shadow of Freddy, but Freddy allowed him to share that shadow. And then when his grandfather passed on, he came into his own self... He was everywhere and a lot of people loved him,” Love said.

Family and friends are now hoping someone catches Cole’s killer.