Etta James: 1938-2012

Etta James
Etta James

Soundcheck is sad to confirm that Soul legend Etta James has died at the age of 73.

The singer had been in an intensive care unit since late December after experiencing difficulty breathing. She was recently released from hospital in Riverside, California, but returned and died there earlier today says longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon, reports CNN.

Etta James was suffering from terminal leukemia, kidney disease, hepatitis C and dementia.

She was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1993 and received six Grammy awards. Raised in Los Angeles, James began singing as a child at church and joined a doo-wop group in her early teens. She joined the Chess Records roster in 1960 and fought heroin addition throughout the decade, before getting clean in the 1970s.

She went on to become one of the most respected singers in the soul and blues genres, and Adele has credited her as an inspiration.

In 2008 Beyonce played the star in the film Cadillac Records and also performed James’ classic track ‘At Last’ for President Obama. To this, the notoriously feisty James said:

“I can’t stand Beyonce. She had no business up there singing my song that I’ve been singing forever.”

Etta James released 30 albums.


Editor & Photographer. Eclectic music tastes and fan of a good beat. Can usually be found at a Gig across the Country or at a Festival in the Summer - More than likely with a camera surgically attached to me.

Leave a Reply