Legendary singer Etta James succumbs to leukemia

Legendary singer Etta James, whose hits included "Something’s Got a Hold on Me" and the rhythm and blues standard "At Last," passed away at age 73 after a battle with leukemia.



Etta James has died.

The legendary singer, whose hits included "Something’s Got a Hold on Me" and the rhythm and blues standard "At Last," passed away at age 73 after a battle with leukemia.

She was diagnosed with the condition in 2010, according to her long-time friend and manager, Lupe De Leon, and died in a hospital in Riverside, California, earlier today (January 20).

Last month, Etta—who has also battled dementia and kidney disease during the past few years—was admitted to hospital after experiencing breathing difficulties, but was discharged on January 6.

Lupe said at the time: "She is at home with her husband and her family by her side. Her condition remains stable. We think it’s best for her to be at home."

Etta first had a chart hit in her teens with "The Wallflower (Roll With Me, Henry)" in 1955.

She then joined Chess records in 1960 and had a string of R&B and pop hits, including "All I Could Do Was Cry," "My Dearest Darling," "Trust in Me," and "Don’t Cry, Baby."

The singer always felt she had a sad quality to most of her songs, telling CNN in 2002: "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. I don’t!"

Etta’s own life was not without tragedy and she battled drug addiction through much of her career.

After a low period, she launched a comeback in the 1970s and performed at the opening ceremony of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Etta was inducted into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and continued to perform into the ’90s.

She said at the time: "I want to thank God for allowing me to come such a long way. I never thought about a hall of fame—I never thought about anything like that."

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Etta’s later work is highly regarded and she won Grammys in 2003 for her album, Let’s Roll, and in 2004, for Blues to the Bone.

The 2008 film Cadillac Records told the story of Chess records and featured Beyonce Knowles in the role of Etta.

A conservatorship hearing over the singer’s $1-million estate was conducted earlier this week, with her son, Donto James, asking to be conservator rather than her husband, Artis Mills.

TRIBUTE TO ETTA. Beyonce Knowles feels "fortunate" to have met Etta James.

The singer-and-actress, who portrayed the legendary singer in the 2008 movie Cadillac Records, said she will always remember Etta fondly.

She said in a statement: "Etta James was one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I am so fortunate to have met such a queen. Her musical contributions will last a lifetime.

"Playing Etta James taught me so much about myself, and singing her music inspired me to be a stronger artist. When she effortlessly opened her mouth, you could hear her pain and triumph.

"Her deeply emotional way of delivering a song told her story with no filter. She was fearless, and had guts. She will be missed."

Beyonce’s former Destiny’s Child bandmate Kelly Rowland also paid tribute to Etta.

She tweeted: "CLASSIC. ONE OF A KIND. PURE SOUL. ETTA JAMES! Thank You for gracing us with your incredible talent & presence!"

Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am also paid tribute, by tweeting: "Showing respect appreciation and love for all the wonderful music and joy #ettajames brought to the world...#ettajamesforever"

Jessie J was another celebrity who took to Twitter and said Etta had always been an inspiration to her and will continue to be so.

The "Price Tag" hitmaker wrote: "Just been told the legend that is Etta James has passed. Thank you for your voice your dedication to us and your gift. Your voice is timeless and will forever live on. I will always look to you for inspiration. R.I.P."

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