Singer Etta James died Friday at the age of 73 after a long battle with leukemia. Born Jamesetta Hawkins; January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012, Etta was an American singer whose style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, gospel and jazz. Starting her career in the mid 1950s, she gained fame with hits such as "Dance With Me, Henry", "At Last", "Tell Mama", and "I'd Rather Go Blind" for which she claimed she wrote the lyrics.

She faced a number of personal problems, including drug addiction, before making a musical resurgence in the late 1980s with the album The Seven Year Itch.

James is regarded as having bridged the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll, and is the winner of six Grammys and 17 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. Rolling Stone ranked James number 22 on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and number 62 on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists.

Beyonce' played Etta in the 2008 movie "Cadillac Records." And she said, quote, "Etta James was one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I am so fortunate to have met such a queen. Her musical contributions will last a lifetime."

Aretha Franklin had this to say quote, "Etta James was one of the great soul singers of our generation. An American original! I loved 'Pushover', 'At Last' and almost any and everything she recorded. When Etta SUNG, you heard it

As a Blues, Gospel and Soul lover I can say that Etta's pain and joy was always apparent and passed threw her music to anyone who was blessed enough to hear her. She will be missed. -Big


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