Etta James died in Riverside, California at the age of 73. Legend Blues singer, Etta James died from complication of leukemia. She was diagnosed with chronic leukemia in January 2011. Records also show that the singer was suffering from dementia, hepatitis C and kidney failure. Etta James was under 24-hour care of Dr. Elaine James, no relation.
In January 2010, Etta James was hospitalized to treat a MRSA infection. During that time, her son Donto, revealed that James had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2008.
Etta James’ longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon said in a statement, “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. I worked with Etta for over 30 years. She was my friend and I will miss her always.”
Jamesetta Hawkins (Etta James) was born January 25, 1938 in Los Angeles to Dorothy Hawkins who was only fourteen at the time and her father is unknown. While her birth mother, Dorothy Hawkins took little responsibility in raising Etta James, she was raised by a series of people, notably a pair of boardinghouse owners, “Sarge” and “Mama” Lu.
The singer began her recording career in the mid-1950’s and was marketed as an R&B and “Doo Wop” singer.
Known for her classic song, “At Last” she received more than 30 awards which include; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, NAACP Image Award, Rockabilly Hall of Fame, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Billboard R&B Founders Award, Grammys award and many more.
“The singer battled a heroin addiction in the 1960’s and 1970’s. James had several legal problems relating to her addiction, including being accused of heroin possession, cashing bad checks and forgery. In 1974, after being in and out of rehab for over a decade, James was sentenced to drug treatment instead of serving time in prison and spent 17 months in the hospital. In 1988, at the age of 50, James returned to treatment at the Betty Ford Center in California.” ABC News said in reports about Etta James death.
Etta James is survived by her husband of 41-years, Artis Mills, and their two sons, Donto and Sametto.