Soulful Sundays: Etta James, RIP

This week, we received news that Grammy award winning singer, Etta James, had passed away five days before her 74th birthday. I was ‘introduced’ to Ms. James when I was a student at university. Back then, as I’ve written in previous posts, my friends and I would share the music of our favorite artists. Etta James was one of my friend’s.

Born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles in 1938, Etta James began singing in her church at age 5. She is best known for her signature song, At Last, which was recorded in 1960. It brought her renewed interest when it was featured in the 2008 film, Cadillac Records.

Etta James, photo from the Internet
Etta James, photo from the Internet

During a career that spanned nearly 60 years, Ms. James recorded more than 35 albums. She won six Grammy Awards and 17 Blues Music Awards. In 1993, she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and 2008. She also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.

Ms. James has been a musical influence to artists such as Diana Ross, Christina Aguilera, Joss Stone, Adele, the Rolling Stones, Amy Winehouse and Rod Stewart.

She is survived by her husband, Artis Mills and her sons Donto and Sametto.

Take a listen to this selection from Ms. James, I’d Rather Go Blindand my absolute favorite, Sunday Kind of Love.

Rest In Peace, Etta.


12 comments on “Soulful Sundays: Etta James, RIP

  1. I didn’t know she put out THAT much music. She had a strong and unique flavor early on, unlike some of her contemporaries. I’m glad to see that she was given her due before she transitioned. Hearing her voice in my head makes me think that Amy Winehauser and Adele had to be spinning her records. As always, thanks for sharing.

  2. She was quite prolific, despite personal and drug problems. And yes, Amy Winehouse and Adele were influenced by her. You can hear her in them. Did you see Cadillac Records? It’d be nice to see a documentary or something on those early singers. They endured quite a lot. Listen online today to WPFW’s G Strings from 9-12. I’m sure the host will be spinning some Etta today in her honor.

  3. Thanks for the nice tribute to Etta James and links to the songs. What a talent! I can definitely hear the influence she had on Amy Winehouse & Adele.

  4. When I say discs, Marcia, I mean CDs. Did you think I meant LPs? I did grow up in that era, but those I had are long gone.

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