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Singer Etta James Dies; Dead At Age 73 (1938 -2012)

Singer Etta James (nèe Jamesetta Hawkins; January 25 1938) has passed away at the age of 73 battling dementia and Hepatitis C, shortly before her 74th birthday. An extraordinary woman, James possessed a voice that is deeply soulful, or as she called it deeply, “blue”. Often imitated, and in my opinion, NEVER duplicated. So many singers have covered James’s signature song, At Last, but no other version can compare to Ms Etta’s version, including the original version first performed by Glenn Miller.  The original self-proclaimed bad girl of music, Etta James is quite  feisty, outspoken, vulgar, and not afraid of a little grit. James can get dirty with the best of them, and that is why her music is so raw and emotional.  She has overcome leukemia and battled a serious addiction to heroin. She leaves behind two musician sons, Donto and Sametto.

Today, in a new generation, many young people know Etta James as the woman portrayed by Beyonce in Cadillac Records, a movie about Chess Records where Etta James was first signed. True to form of speaking her mind, Etta James is also infamous for attacking President Obama and Beyonce. James didn’t appreciate Beyonce trying to steal her song during Obama’s inauguration, and she let both of them have it:

I can’t stand Beyonce…You know, YOUR President, the one with the big ears-he ain’t MY President–had that woman singing for him at his Inauguration. She’s going to get her ass whooped. How dare Beyonce sing MY song that I been singing forever.

I am a blues girl, as you know, and I love music that is soulful and emotionally deep. I just appreciate all of the music spawned (Adele, Amy Winehouse, Jill Scott, Ledisi) from such a wondrously flawed woman, Ms Etta James. Check out a few pictures of the singer in her heyday, when you continue…

This song, All I could So Was Cry inspired Adele’s Someone Like You

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