Legendary Singer Etta James Passes Away
Jan 2012 14

Legendary Singer Etta James Passes Away

 (Born Jamesetta Hawkins; January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012)

On January 20th, legendary singer Etta James lost her battle with leukemia. Celebrities and friends pay tribute to the loss of a music icon.

Etta James was struggling with several health problems before her death. James was hospitalized in January 2010 to treat an infection caused by Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus, which is a bacterium that is resistant to all antibiotic treatment. During hospitalization, James’s son Donto revealed that his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2008, and this contributed to her comments about singer Beyoncé Knowles. The very public remarks Etta James made about Beyonce was primarily caused by drug induced dementia.

James was later diagnosed with leukemia in early 2011. Unfortunately the illness was diagnosed as terminal by Dr. Elaine James in December 2011.

Etta James died with her husband and sons by her side at RiversideCommunityHospitalin Riverside, California.  The singer was 73 years old.

Comments and reactions by celebrities:

- “This is a huge loss. Etta James was one of the greatest vocalists of our time,” Beyonce Knowles said in a statement released on her web site.  “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.”

-  “CLASSIC. ONE OF A KIND. PURE SOUL. ETTA JAMES! Thank You for gracing us with your incredible talent & presence!,” singer Kelly Rowland tweeted.

-  “Thank you Etta James for giving us all the gift of song. RIP,” posted Jessica Alba.


Etta James received over 30 awards and recognitions from eight different organizations, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences which organizes the Grammys.

The Rhythm and Blues Foundation included James in their first Pioneer Awards for artists whose “lifelong contributions have been instrumental in the development of Rhythm & Blues music”.  James also received an NAACP Image Award for outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts.  James cherished this award, she stated ” The award was coming from my own people”.


Etta James has received six Grammy Awards. In 1994 James received her first award, which was for Best Jazz Vocal Performance for the album Mystery Lady.  In 2003 the album Let’s Roll  won Best Contemporary Blues Album.  The album Blues To The Bone won Best Traditional Blues Album in 2004.  Also two of James early songs have been given Grammy Hall of Fame Awards for “qualitative or historical significance”: “At Last”, in 1999, and “The Wallflower (Dance with Me, Henry)” in 2008. In 2003, she was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.


In The Know with Sophia Lenore
Jan 2012 14
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