With her husband and sons by her side, “At Last” singer Etta James passed away today at a Riverside, California hospital. Her 74th birthday would have been next Wednesday.
L.A. native Mrs. James had been undergoing treatment for leukemia since early 2011.
” This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world,” her manager Lupe 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 legendary spitfire, born Jamesetta Hawkins, with such an iconic voice had six Grammys under her belt and seventeen Blues Music Awards.
She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in both 1999 and 2008.
Her life was portrayed on-screen in the 2008 Cadillac Records musical bio-pic, which was loosely based on the rise and fall of James’ label of 18 years, Chess Records.
That voice, that fieriness, and her beauty will indeed be missed.