January 20, 2012 at 8:57 am #378481
Singing legend Etta James dies at 73.
Etta James, whose assertive, earthy voice lit up such hits as “The Wallflower,” “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” and the wedding favorite “At Last,” has died, according to her longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon. She was 73.
She died from complications from leukemia with her husband, Artis Mills, and her sons by her side, De Leon said.
She was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010, and also suffered from dementia and hepatitis C. James died at a hospital in Riverside, California. She would have turned 74 Wednesday.
” This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world,” De Leon said. “She was a true original who could sing it all — her music defied category.
“I worked with Etta for over 30 years. She was my friend and I will miss her always.”
The powerhouse singer, known as “Miss Peaches,” lived an eventful life. She first hit the charts as a teenager, taking “The Wallflower (Roll With Me, Henry)” — an “answer record” to Hank Ballard’s “Work With Me, Annie” — to No. 1 on the R&B charts in 1955. She joined Chess Records in 1960 and had a string of R&B and pop hits, many with lush string arrangements. After a mid-decade fade, she re-emerged in 1967 with a more hard-edged, soulful sound.
Throughout her career, James overcame a heroin addiction, opened for the Rolling Stones, won six Grammys and was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Despite her ups and downs — including a number of health problems — she maintained an optimistic attitude.
“Most of the songs I sing, they have that blue feeling to it. They have that sorry feeling. And I don’t know what I’m sorry about,” she told CNN’s Denise Quan in 2002. “I don’t!”
Through it all, she was a spitfire beloved by contemporaries and young up-and-comers.
“Etta James is unmanageable, and I’m the closest thing she’s ever had to a manager,” Lupe DeLeon, her manager of 30-plus years, told CNN in admiration.January 20, 2012 at 10:13 am #378483
Rest in peace to this Blues Legend, and may her music legacy continue on through the years like it has.
I hope Christina can pay tribute to her at the Grammys. (wishful thinking)January 20, 2012 at 10:21 am #378484
This is such sad news… My condolences to her friends and family, and may Ms. Etta James rest in peace…at last.January 20, 2012 at 11:00 am #378485
Very sad news.
Rest in Peace, Ms James.January 20, 2012 at 11:11 am #378486
Awww, she was an amazing soul legend. May she RIP.
Will there be a tribute to her at the Grammy’s do you think?! Her and Amy will for sure get some spotlight that evening. I would LOVE For Christina to pay tribute to her, she is her fav. singer and she can do Etta justice, just listen to her sing AT LAST and SOMETHINGS GOT AHOLD ON ME! Here she is with Etta.January 20, 2012 at 2:49 pm #378487
(Christina Aguilera, who was heavily influenced by Etta James, should be part of a tribute next month at the Grammys.)January 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm #378488
Here is a really good write up on her that I found at the Taste of Country website.
After a long bout with leukemia, legendary ‘At Last’ soul singer
Etta James died today with her family by her side. Saddened by this
great loss in the music community, country stars have hit Twitter to
share their condolences to the family of the 73-year-old powerhouse.
“We’re saddened to hear of Etta James passing today,” Little Big Town said via Twitter.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family. Her voice has been and
will always be a part of all of our lives. In our wildest dreams we
could have never imagined having the chance to hear her record a piece
of music we wrote. Hearing her sing ‘Boondocks’ is an honor we will
Some stars are less elaborate in their comments but are offering them up nonetheless. “Etta James dies at last. RIP,” tweeted Jaron Lowenstein of Jaron and the Long Road to Love. Similarly, James Otto tweeted, “RIP Etta James!” and LeAnn Rimes tweeted, “RIP to the wonderfully soulful Etta James. You will always be in our heart & on our radios. What a voice, a sad loss.”
James was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010 and has been suffering
from complications from the terminal illness, as well as dementia and
hepatitis C, for a while now. Next Wednesday would have been her 74th
birthday. Her friend and longtime manager Lupe De Lion confirmed her
death today and offered his thoughts to CNN.
“This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans
around the world,” he said. “She was a true original who could sing it
all – her music defied category.”
God bless you and her family and those who loved her always!!!
P.S. I had to sing her “At Last” song at a wedding once and to be honest, I have hated the song ever since because I did such a horrible job on it, at least in my own opinion anyways. (shaking my head)
Go here to check out my most favorite singer James Otto!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiU81KIRZ_QJanuary 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm #378489
May Etta James rest in peace.
I had the privilege of seeing Etta James in concert at the Chicago House Of Blues 4 times from 2003 to as recent as 2009. She was an amazing singer and performer. She was one of my favorite blues singers along with KoKo Taylor and Ruth Brown. Etta could not only sing blues, but she could also sing R&B, jazz, pop and even rock. Etta was inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 (same year as Ruth Brown).
Below are some of the cds by Etta James that you should definitely check out:
Heart Of A Woman
Burnin’ Down The House:Live at the House of Blues
Blues To The Bone
Etta James won 3 Grammys for the following:
Best Jazz Vocal Album for Mystery Lady: Songs of Billie Holliday (awarded in 1994)
Best Contemporary Blues Album for Let’s Roll (awarded in 2004)
Best Traditional Blue Album for Blues To The Bone (awarded in 2005)
If you are interested in reading a fantastic book about Etta James, then you should pick up the book Rage To Survive.January 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm #378490
She inspired so many singers. I knew she was sick, but I was praying she would get better. R.I.P.January 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm #378491
I was just talking about Etta James last night.
It’s crazy how talk becomes actual reality.
She was the original Bad girl of Soul.January 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm #378492
R.I.P. Etta James. You had true soulJanuary 20, 2012 at 6:33 pm #378493
R.I.P Etta James. You’re in a better place now. No more suffering or fighting for your life. You will be missed.January 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm #378494
“At Last” is up to #11 on iTunes. This needs to go top 10!
EDIT: Just hit #10.January 21, 2012 at 10:00 am #378495
RIP <3<3<3<3<3<3<3January 22, 2012 at 8:41 am #378496
I wish that the Grammys would have presented the Blues categories on air for the years that Etta won. It would have been great to see her on stage and to hear her speech.
I hope that some of you get a chance to read her book and to check out her music.