natalie_cole(2012-skinny-bony-wide)*Legendary singer and nine-time Grammy Award winner Natalie Cole took time to weigh in on who she believes to be the current crop of divas during her interview with theGrio.

“I think that it’s going to be interesting to see where Beyoncé’s career goes,” Cole said. “Because now I would say, she is the new Madonna. Girls want to look like her; they want to dress like her… I think that she could be a great influence. She’s a nice girl, definitely not a “diva” in the sense of what we like to use as that definition.”

Cole also commended Kelly Rowland for her ability to step out of Beyoncé’s shadow.

“I like Kelly Rowland, I think that she’s great. It’s hard to come out of the group of Destiny’s Child and still kick some butt. It’s hard to be in the shadow of a Beyoncé. I think Kelly is a classy girl… I think she’s done a really great job.”

Showing no signs of stopping herself, Cole has released her first full album completely in Spanish, entitled “Natalie Cole En Espanol.”

She says her new album is a tribute to her father.

“It’s just such a great inspiration to know that I can step into that world legitimately,” 63-year-old Cole said during an interview with theGrio’ Chris Witherspoon. “Being my dad’s daughter has allowed me to do a lot of things that maybe another artist might not be able to do or wouldn’t be necessarily embraced doing. It’s extraordinary to me that I would be even doing something like this. It’s great.”

The “Pink Cadillac” singer also discussed her friendship spanning several decades with the late Whitney Houston. Cole talked candidly about Houston’s sense of humor.

“Several years ago Whitney and I were on tour… We came home one night from a concert in Germany and Bobby Brown was there. Whitney and Bobby sat in the lounge of the hotel and told jokes. We were there until 6:00 in the morning. Whitney was so funny… she was such a funny girl. I just love that about her. Her sense of humor was great. If it got to be too much, she would just go right to the laughter, because she couldn’t take it.  She didn’t like being sad, that was not her.”