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.
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 Blind, and my absolute favorite, Sunday Kind of Love.
Rest In Peace, Etta.