Natalie Cole owes singer/socialite pal Denise Rich her life - because she forced the soul star to seek medical help for a serious breathing problem.
Cole admits her breathing became so bad earlier this year (08) she would walk hunched over - but she refused to believe there was anything seriously wrong with her until pal Rich urged her to see a doctor.
The Unforgettable singer, who is suffering from Hepatitis C, was diagnosed with near kidney failure, and told she was close to death.
And she probably would be dead if it wasn't for a phone call from Rich.
In an exclusive interview with U.S. news show Entertainment Tonight, she says, "She said, 'I don't like the way you sound, I'm calling my doctor.' They took X-rays and they said, 'You've gotta go in the hospital right now. Your lungs have filled up with fluid, your kidney function is less than 10 per cent.'
"Thank God for Denise."