Friday, January 20, 2012

RIP Etta James

People reports: Etta James, the powerful blues voice behind the chart-topping 1961 evergreen "At Last," has died after a lengthy struggle with leukemia. She was 73.

Her longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon, first confirmed the news to CNN. "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."

Because of her health concerns, James had curtailed her concerts in January 2010 to enter the hospital with a blood infection, among other ailments, including Alzheimer's disease.

The winner of four Grammys and a 1993 inductee to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, James was portrayed in the 2008 movie Cadillac Records by Beyoncé Knowles. Christina Aguilera also cited James as a major influence.

"There's a lot going on in Etta James's voice," Bonnie Raitt once told Rolling Stone, which ranked James 22nd on its list of the 100 Best Singers of All Time. "A lot of pain, a lot of life but, most of all, a lot of strength. She can be so raucous and down one song, and then break your heart with her subtlety and finesse the next. As raw as Etta is, there's a great intelligence and wisdom in her singing."

More on the passing of this legend here.

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