Salty Soul Singer Etta James Dies

Leukemia complications overcome Etta James

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) You've probably heard her music, even if you don't recognize her name. "At Last" - the classic love song - is a wedding favorite. And you may know "The Wallflower," or "Something's Got a Hold on Me."

The legendary voice behind these soulful songs is Etta James, who has died of complications of leukemia.

She had been diagnosed with the disease in 2010. James also suffered from dementia and Hepatitis C.

Her longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon, announced that she died on January 20, 2012, with her husband and children at her side.

Known as "Miss Peaches," James started making chart toppers in the 1950's. Her first hit - "The Wallflower" - came when she was just a teenager.

Health was a struggle for the legend, who at one time was reported to have weighed 400 pounds. She battled and overcame heroin addiction and suffered a number of other health conditions throughout her life.

Among her high points were opening for the Rolling Stones, winning six Grammys and being voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

According to a CNN article, she told network's Denise Quan in 2002, "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."

Beyonce portrayed James in the 2008 film "Cadillac Records," which was the story of James' time at Chess Records.

Beyonce sang "At Last" at one of President Barack Obama's 2009 inaugural balls.

Singers around the world have expressed their condolences on Twitter. Even youngster Justin Bieber had a message - "RIP to the great Etta James."

The last line of her classic ironically sums it  - "...and here we are in heaven, for you are mine at last"


Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
January 21, 2012
Last Updated:
November 8, 2012