- CHARITY BENEFIT
Etta James was a powerhouse singer who combined blues, gospel and R&B in the ’50s and ’60s. Ms. James died today due to leukemia in a Riverside, Calif., hospital. She was 73.
Her 1961 version of ‘At Last,’ began her hits begining with 1955′s ‘The Wallflower (Dance With Me, Henry)’ and continued with such classics as ‘Spoonful,’ ‘Something’s Got a Hold on Me’ and ‘Tell Mama.’ She won six Grammy awards, and in 1993, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Struggling with addiction to heroin in 1988 her album ‘Seven Year Itch,’ was recorded after completing time at the Betty Ford Center. In the last few years she also dealt with dementia, Hepatitis C and Alzheimer’s. In January 2010, she was hospitalized for sepsis.
In 2009, the singer criticized Beyonce, who played her in the film “Cadillac Records for singing ‘At Last’ for President Obama’s Inaugural Ball. She felt hurt when she was not asked to perform. It was Obama who lost the chance to have one of the most influential singers of a generations sing. James placed No. 62 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the greatest artists of all time.