Blues legend Etta James passed away this week after a two-year battle with leukemia and other medical complications, leaving celebrities and entertainers sending out their public condolences.
Details on her unexpected death landed online Friday (January 20) morning.
Etta James, whose assertive, earthy voice lit up such hits as “The Wallflower,” “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” and the wedding favorite “At Last,” has died, according to her longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon. She was 73. She died from complications from leukemia with her husband, Artis Mills, and her sons by her side, De Leon said. She was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010, and also suffered from dementia and hepatitis C. James died at a hospital in Riverside, California. She would have turned 74 Wednesday. “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.” (CNN)
The news caught the eyes of music moguls like Russell Simmons who sent his condolences and tweeted a link urging his followers to study her background.
“RIP Etta James >> http://bit.ly/xCqzvC,” he tweeted January 20th. (Russell Simmons’ Twitter)
Actress Sanaa Lathan spoke on how she felt upon learning of James’ passing.
“My heart is broken… RT @UncleRUSH: RIP Etta James >> http://bit.ly/xCqzvC” (Sanaa Lathan’s Twitter)
Music producer DJ Clark Kent expressed how much the late singer’s music impacted the entertainment industry.
“Rest In Power To The Voice, The Magic, The Woman That Is Jamesetta “Etta” James.. “At Last” You are finally in The Greatest Place!” (DJ Clark Kent’s Twitter)
“106 & Park” co-host Rocsi Diaz also paid her respects to James.
“R.I.P RT @BET: Etta James dies at age 73 after losing battle with leukemia: http://bet.us/wDUScC #RIP” (Rocsi Diaz’s Twitter)
Despite a music career which dated back to the 1950’s, James’ achievements flourished well into the 2000’s.
James did get her accolades over the years. She was inducted into the Rock Hall in 1993, captured a Grammy in 2003 for best contemporary blues album for “Let’s Roll;” one in 2004 for best traditional blues album for “Blues to the Bone;” and one for best jazz vocal performance for 1994’s “Mystery Lady: Songs of Billie Holiday.” She was also awarded a special Grammy in 2003 for lifetime achievement and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But her health went into decline, and by 2011, she was being cared for at home by a personal doctor. A struggle between her sons and her husband developed as she became more ill, as he sought to control her estate. Her sons, Donto James and Sametto James, had power of attorney over her affairs. (Fox News)
Check out Etta James’ “Something’s Got A Hold On Me” below: