Etta James DIes at age 73
by Duke City Local on 01/20/2012 - 01:44 pm
Etta James who had one of the most powerful voices in blues, died today Friday Jan 12,2012 in Riverside, Calif. She was 73 years old. She had numerous hit songs with the most famous being "At Last." Etta had suffered from leukemia and dementia, which is believed to be the cause of her death.
With her hit song "At Last" Etta had also won four Grammy Awards, including a lifetime achievement honor that she received in 2003. She is most often referred to as a rhythm and blues singer and had which helped her make a name for herself as well as a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame.
Etta was born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles on Jan. 25,1938. Her mother was only 14 at the time and her father left before she was born. When she was 12 she was adopted by foster parents and moved to San Francisco. She started in singing in her church choir like many timeless stars, and by age 15 she and a group of friends formed a vocal group. Soon after she recorded her first single "Roll with me Henry," using her own lyrics. A disc jockey complained that the title was too suggestive so the name was then changed to "The Wallflower." In 1954 the single was number 2 on the rhythm-and-blues charts and was re-done by a white singer and found a wider audience.
In 1960 James was signed by Chess Records, a famous Chicago label that also signed stars like Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. There she recorded a string of hits including the most famous "At Last" which boosted her career to a new height.
She is survived by her husband and two sons as well as four grandchildren.