Etta James died yesterday, January 20, 2012. Ms. Etta’s style was blues. It was rock-n-roll and R&B. It was soul. It was gospel and it was jazz. She was a passionate singer and songwriter and an accomplished woman. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked her #62 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
In her life, she won four Grammys, seventeen Blues Music Awards, and 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). As a blues and R&B singer in the 1950s and 60s, she was hugely successful and is best known for her classic 1961 ballad “At Last,” which you can listen to below. Etta won ‘Blues Female Artist of the Year’ for 14 years. In 1990, she received an NAACP Image Award, which is given for “outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts.”
After struggling with drug addiction for much of her life, she was diagnosed with Alzheimers in 2008 and then with leukemia in early 2011. Her death came just five days before her 74th birthday. Whether you have heard her recently or not, take a few minutes to just listen and enjoy. She was an amazing musician. Here’s the one she’s the most famous for.
Etta James thank you for your wonderful contributions to this world. May you Rest In Peace.