Singing legend Etta James died Friday at the age of 73 from complications from leukemia.
James, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010 - and also suffered from dementia and hepatitis C - died with her husband, Artis Mills, and her sons by her side, her longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon, told CNN.
Fans of the singer, whose 1961 release “At Last” has since become a favorite at weddings, continue to share their memories of James and her music:
“Etta James was a pioneer,” Terry Stewart, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, told CNN. “Her ever-changing sound has influenced rock and roll, rhythm and blues, pop, soul and jazz artists, marking her place as one of the most important female artists of our time. From Janis Joplin to Joss Stone, an incredible number of performers owe their debts to her. There is no mistaking the voice of Etta James, and it will live forever.”
New mom Beyonce, who portrayed James in the film "Cadillac Records," told CNN, "This is a huge loss. Etta James was one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I am so fortunate to have met such a queen. Her musical contributions will last a lifetime.
Playing Etta James taught me so much about myself, and singing her music inspired me to be a stronger artist. When she effortlessly opened her mouth, you could hear her pain and triumph. Her deeply emotional way of delivering a song told her story with no filter. She was fearless, and had guts. She will be missed."
Stars also reacted to the legend's passing on Twitter:
Was “At Last” your wedding song? Or was it otherwise special to you and your sweetheart? Help us pay tribute to James by sharing why the song means so much to you on iReport.
Usually I don't learn article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to take a look at and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank you, very great article.
If you never had a chance to see ETTA live in concert, you missed something VERY special. Check the various music sites for LIVE videos of songs like "SUGAR ON THE FLOOR", a song written by Kiki Dee that Etta performed regularly for over 30 years. SHe won Grammy's for R and B, blues and for jazz//BLUE GARDENIA: the songs of Billie Holiday. She TRIUMPHED over heroin addiction and a tumultuous childhood. I only found out through reading her obituaries that she had written an autobiography RAGE TO SURVICE @1995. It is brutally honest. Rest in Peace.
Would somebody please tell CNN to stop torturing us with Christina Aguilera's detestable rendition of "At Last". She single-handedly managed to destroy the reverence of the funeral.
Etta will always be with us in song..My mother loves her songs, I grew up listing to her songs, I cried today listing to AT LAST. R,I.P.Etta. For anyone who is in love or have ever been in love this is your song
One of my favorite Female singers since the 50s. She will be missed.
Her voice make me happy wen am sad she will be miss rip,etta.
may she be at peace away from all the ghettoness..amen as for the gay hobo geta job loser
who gives a hoot she was black.even the black gay hobo in here don't give a crap..that sais it all bieng black sucks salty balls
Tears from our eyes. Comfort to her family's hearts. She spoke what she believed and faith takes care of the rest.
True. Her autobiography RAGE TO SURVIVE, much like her music and songwriting is BRUTALLY honest. Rest in Peace.
R.I.P. Etta James u lived a long life & so many ppl luved u! u will b truly missed! fromthefort;)
I aint no child. I be a teenie bopper and I iz gonna bop you right in da keister. Bend over and get ready for my super-sized sausage, my lil pumpkin! You can take da whole thang. Polish it up for me once I dumped my salty load!! Thx
Baby girl...You lived through to a place in life where you were valued and loved, as you deserved. You'll continue, in beauty and love. You were a good light among us.
Jjy79, please dont ever compare etta james to any artist of this generation.she was a legend in her Time, By the way children shouldnt be in grown folks ,conversation.
These comments are rude and uncalled for on this sensitive article. These trolls need to get a life. You will be banned from all future CNN blogs. Bustin out with niggs, slaves and jig-a-boo is just lame. You should be ashamed!!! Suk my big ol.....
I once tapped dat bootay when we wuz young and hornay! Etta and I slammed some MD 20/20 and got bizzy in da back of my Lincoln Continental. Leroy busted out his big ol donger and showed her sum crazy new trix! I will always member dem days when backseat luvin was da bomb! Peace be with you, child. I be joinin u soon!!
Dat Etta gave me hope and inspired me to do absolutely nothing after my show was cancelled. I became a homeless bum living off the streets of Sunset, forced to sell my plump lil body...the moral of this story...Etta's tunes made me into a complete loser!! See ya.
That jig-a-boo decided to take her talents elsewhere...straightto HE doubleL. She be a ho and she be a pig. I loved that plump lil crazy nig! Now I know this seems a bit harsh, but all us bros can call it a farce! See ya biatchy!!
I iz a racist but I be gay. I just want you to know I luv to play....the skin flute is my fav lil thang, my buddy's pooper I will bang. I am a fudge packer and that be coo...I just wanna mop up my buddies spoo!!
Punky Brewster was called upon for HER thoughts concerning the Etta James passing? CNN again has no clue.
I wasnt even alive when Etta was doing her thing but the first time i heard at last i was in love and every thing else i'd rather go blind i love it i love her ma
y she rest in peace
I hate him soooo bad im glad hes dead i always wanted him dead. why did he have to be born anyway
Nobody cares about this lady. This article did not even get many comments. My husband sat on my face tonight.
You should be ashamed of yourself. Try a little respect. Who raised you, anyway? Wolves? I'll bet your parents are just so proud...
Loved the music of Etta James! Heartfelt condolensces to her family!
Etta James was an incredible talented woman! What a loss – my prayers go out to her family!
GREAT SINGER GONE.PRAYERS ARE WITH HER FAMILY.SHE WOULD BE MISS
I agree with Big Al of KC. Etta James is suffering no more, she is now in the arms of the Creator. Her music and spirit will live on.
ETTA INSPIRED MANY A GREAT LOSS
Mrs james decided to take her talents elsewhere
Mrs Etta James was God's gift to us and we were blessed with her for a long time and when God saw her suffering he took her home. Thank you for your Angel ,bless her family and fans. RIP
WOW! Don't LET IT RIP
"I'd rather go blind than to see you walk away..." Be at peace on your new journey.
At last was a beautiful song it really touch my soul you will be greatly missed to all
Oooow weee dont do that
she finelly done dieds?!!!! ooooo weeee. lord hav mercy. she hungs in dare like a trooper. good god almighty.
Etta James was truly one of my favorites. Now she can sing all the way up in heaven.May she rest in peace.
Etta James was a good singer Deep down from her Heart with a powerful voice of all time she will be Missed at the same time her Music will always live on forever, At Last she's in Gods hands.
My husband who passed away recently loved your style and sweet voice. May my husband hear your voice, AT Last !
Loved those jams "Tell Mama" and "It Must Be Love" - R.I.P. Sista' Etta.
RIP Ms. E. James; sing to my mom, dad, and grand dad up there. I remember as a little girl hearing your songs! God Bless your family as they go through this transition
This is why I reject 'copy protection' scams though I'll honour a 'copyright' under Fair Use rules. Media like her music should be immortal! Back up your music!
OK – it was bad enough that Beyonce sang "At Last" at Obama's inauguration instead of Ms. Etta James. Now, at Etta's death, the articles seem to be more about Beyonce. Come on, give this one-of-a-kind talent the credit and thankfulness for her voice that she deserves. Let's talk about the true talent, Etta James. Beyonce mimics Ettta, and does not surpass her anywhere but in media coverage.
What a pity,etta may ur gentle soul rest in d bossom of the lord Amen.
I also remember first hearing u in the 60's and would wonder why u sang the blues so well until I saw the movie "Cadillac Records".After I began to dig up more info about u and ur musical career.ur songs and early recordings.I was amazed about so much that I had missed.If u could have lived just a little bit longer would we have given u the props that u so richly deserve instead of saying how greatly we appreciated u know that ur gone? I know that u would have agreed with my statement.I will miss you my dear.lbj
I never seen you,I never talk 2 you,yet I have know you all my life&I love you Miss Etta James: RIP,,
I have grown to love Etta James and have felt incredibly sad to hear of her passing. My sister and I saw her in the late nineties at the Strand in Redondo Beach on New Years Eve, but my love for her and her passion for singing and performing had not yet begun. She was wild, feisty and I thought "over-the-top" with her incredibly forward antics. However, when she sang "At Last", of course I was assuredly in awe. Many years passed, my music career steered me towards learning her songs and peeking into her life through lyrics and stories. I feel now as though someone has taken a dear friend from me. I have nothing but deep respect and a feeling of love loss knowing that she has left us. I feel as though she is with me still when I hear her voice. I say "Thank you, Etta, you have been such a lovely blessing in my life." LL
Thank you for the music that inspired so many generations of singers and so many other people whose name you never knew but was honored to love you from afar. Long live Etta James!
Sugar on the floor
Rest in peace Etta James your music will live in our hearts.May God give your family the strength while they cope with such a big lost.R.I.P
You will be missed.RIP
You will be miss.RIP
I have grown to love Etta James and have felt incredibly sad to hear of her passing. My sister and I saw her in the late nineties at the Strand in Redondo Beach on New Years Eve, but my love for her and her passion for singing and performing had not yet begun. She was wild, feisty and I thought "over-the-top" with her incredibly forward antics. However, when she sang "At Last", of course I was assuredly in awe. Many years passed, my music career steered me towards learning her songs and peeking into her life through lyrics and stories. I feel now as though someone has taken a dear friend from me. I have nothing but deep respect and love loss knowing that she has left us. I feel as though she is with me still when I hear her voice. I say "Thank you, Etta, you have been such a lovely blessing in my life." LL
"At Last" is th most popular song at Julius Bar in the Village, NYC. Her songs will live on. Her cd's are on their jukebox. Jerry
Unlike Christina Ugliera, Etta would never forget words to the anthem at a Super Bowl
The public loves those who die but rarely loves those who live. Miss you Etta!
You Were Truly Magnificent Rip Etta
Why do we call this SAD? She will no longer suffer in a physical state and she gets to see our Maker! How awesome is that? She left her mark as one of a kind artist! A true artist!
She will missed greatly by me + all her fans from the 60's scene God bless her always.She is in Heaven still singing 4ever 2 all the angels + saints + the hosts in heavens amen.RIP
I was just a lilttle kid in the early 60's and my parents where playing her record song AT LAST... super nice Wonderful warm voice she had....the only voice who reminds me Etta... was the late Amy Winehouse...
Etta james part of legacy of black histroy. A musical icon.
This is the time that try mens soul increase your faith in jesus and he can comfront you the relationship between mrs. James and god was pernosal but god provides peace for all by only speaking it that is why he is the great almighty god.
used to see ya grocery shopping and at the salon getting our nails done by debbie and you were always so nice to everybody. So down to earth and real. You gave my granddaughter an autogragph in the store and then i introduced her to the blues. Thank you, you truly wonderful lady. Now smile with the angels tonight. A loving fan.
Ms. Etta James Ms. Queen of Soul. You will be missed. Your voice, power, inspiration and love will live on forever. Thank you for my favorite song AT LAST......
R.I.P. you left a legacy of music,,,,,,beside ..AT LAST,,,,,TELL MAMA ,,,,,my favorite dance tune was,,,PUSHOVER....never be forgotten
A short night of music in boulder i will never forget. Etta your warm hug and will never be forgoten
At Last – R.I.P. Ms. Etta James. Since ur up there can u sing it for my mom (who is up there too) it's her favorite.
I was married for 38 years. I remembered her! R.I.P.
You don't always need good looks to get by in life.l It's also either having brains and/or talent. We're all pretty useful for something in this lifetime. What kind of influences did or do you have!?! People like you just need to get out more, and be cultrued. No wonder why your not so happy, or at peace with yourself..
If you didn't care so much about this article, then why read it in the first place..
ETTA YOU WILL BE SADLY MISSED WE ENJOYED LISTENING TO YOUR VOICE ALL THESE YEARS YOU ARE AND WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR HEARTS AND OUR PRAYERS OUR CONDELENCES TO YOUR FAMILY REST IN PEACE SWEETIE WE LOVE YOU
Etta, you will be missed. There is a place for you in heaven with a stage and an Etta James mic, accompanied by an orchestra of angels. Your beautiful voice will live on. Thanks for sharing your God given gift with the world.
Am shock jst found out! Etta J...i thk u 4 gvg me smthg to hear n rembr ....song*trust n me* means alot to me has meang n truth ..Rest n Peace
what a wonderful gift we have all lost...The sounds of heaven are more beautiful now for sure!!
A musical giantess has left us. Yet she's gone on to sing for those who went before her. To hear hr story listen to "My Diary".
Sing on Etta, sing on.
Etta James you will be missed But your music will live on !
Yes we were graced with the honor of ms etta james sharing her soul her heart her sounds of music at last the pain u had begin to suffer lost it's evil grip on u. R.I.P. Etta you'll be forever missed and thank you so much,mwah
AND...one of the best voices to date, who had a long life well spent. Thanks to her generous spirit, she has made millions of people happy, relaxed, and or amorous, not an easy thing to do:)
Darling Etta, every time I would hear your voice I got chills. You had such strong and beautiful talent. Now, may you sing with the angels in heaven where you belong. You will be greatly missed.
to one of best singers ever lived R.I.P. God bless
Great lady she will be forever rememberd for her grand singing long live Etta James forever love
Etta & Koko are two of my favorite classic ladies. She!ll be missed, but forever remembered
R.I.P. Etta james, at last your in the arms of Jesus, you will be miss by many, but your voice will live on forever,
RIP Etta. Your music will be listened to and enjoyed by many forever. To Ms. James' family my deepest condolences.
What a classic "At Last" is and always will be! R.I.P. Etta
R.I.P to A GREAT INFLUENTIAL WOMAN.... Mrs. Etta James!
Tracie, you made the same comment regarding Springsteen, what are you 10 ? Be carefull, your mommie may find out that your wasting time on the internet instead of doing your homework. Jeesh, grow up, No class whatsoever
Wonderful talent and voice.
One of the most amazing voices I have ever heard. At Last opened my eyes to this wonderful singer and it was all downhill from there. Etta James will be greatly missed, but her music will live on for generations.
RIP. When I heard "At Last" for the first time the song was so beautiful tears came to my eyes. You are one of the greatest singers I have ever heard.
RIP Etta. You were no Lady Gaga but you'll still be missed.
Are you crazy. Comparing Lady GaGa to Etta. No comparison. RIP Etta.
Thank God she wasn't! RIP, Etta.
Is this some kind of joke? What are you 12? I don't see how anyone can put Lady Gaga in the same class with Etta James, even as a joke. It's just disrespectful. You need to listen to some of her music, before you start saying things you don't have a clue about. Try listening to 'Sugar on the Floor'. It'll tear your heart out. She was my favorite female singer, and I will miss the opportunity of hearing something new from her, every day. I will still listen to my C.D.'s and remember her, though. You should have seen her on film, vivacious is the only way to say it in a 'clean' way! Love you Etta!
That's rather rude and immature.
R.I.P. You will be missed by many.
That is truly sad. One of the most memorable and legendary voices of our times.
I never heard of this lady!
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