After a much publicized battle with leukemia, soul legend Etta James has died at the age of 73.
The terrible news was announced today by longtime friend and manager Lupe De Leon. According to De Leon, James passed away with her husband and sons by her side.
“The powerhouse singer, known as ‘Miss Peaches,’ lived an eventful life. She first hit the charts as a teenager, taking ‘The Wallflower (Roll With Me, Henry)’ — an ‘answer record’ to Hank Ballard’s ‘Work With Me, Annie’ — to No. 1 on the R&B charts in 1955. She joined Chess Records in 1960 and had a string of R&B and pop hits, many with lush string arrangements. After a mid-decade fade, she re-emerged in 1967 with a more hard-edged, soulful sound.
Throughout her career, James overcame a heroin addiction, opened for the Rolling Stones, won six Grammys and was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Despite her ups and downs — including a number of health problems — she maintained an optimistic attitude.
‘Most of the songs I sing, they have that blue feeling to it. They have that sorry feeling. And I don’t know what I’m sorry about,’ she told CNN’s Denise Quan in 2002. ‘I don’t!'”
Etta James “At Last”
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