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Etta James Dead at 73

Etta James
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Music icon and vocal legend Etta James has died at the age of 73 after losing her battle with leukemia, according to a report from CNN. She is survived by her husband, Artis Mills, and her two sons, who were all present at the time of the singer’s passing.

James’ longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon, broke the news, saying, “This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world. She was a true original who could sing it all – her music defied category.” He continued, “I worked with Etta for over 30 years. She was my friend and I will miss her always.” James, who was born Jamesetta Hawkins, was diagnosed with leukemia in March 2010 and her health was slowly deteriorating ever since.

Over the span of her career, James released classics such as the wedding favorite ‘At Last’ and iconic and inspirational tracks like ‘Tell Mama,’ ‘All I Could Do Was Cry,’ and ‘Trust in Me.’ Despite her battles with heroin and painkiller addiction throughout her life, James never disappeared from the music scene, treating fans to live performances and countless records boasting her inimitable and incomparable voice.

Throughout her life, James won six Grammy awards and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame twice. She was also inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and won a slew of other venerable awards. Additionally, James influenced countless artists over the years, including Beyonce, who portrayed the blues/R&B singer in the 2008 movie ‘Cadillac Records’ and performed ‘At Last’ for President Obama at his inaugural ball.

Rest in peace, Etta James.

Watch Etta James Perform ‘At Last’ at Her 1993 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

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