Beautiful blues singer Etta James has passed away after a long battle with leukemia. The ‘At Last’ singer was 73.
Lupe De Leon, James’ longtime friend and manager, 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."
James’ health concerns forced her to cancel her concerts in January 2010, as she entered the hospital with a blood infection. She also suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Then, in May of last year, Etta was admitted to another hospital in Riversid, with a urinary tract infection and the blood infection sepsis.
James won four Grammys throughout her career and was a 1993 inductee to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Etta was portrayed in the movie Cadillac Records, which starred Beyonce.
Etta’s been an influence to many singers, including Christina Aguilera. When Rolling Stone ranked James 22nd on a list of 100 Best Singers of All Time, Bonnie Raitt said:
“There's a lot going on in Etta James's voice. 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."
Rest in peace, Etta.