Singing legend Etta James, has died reports CNN. James’ long time friend and manager, Lupe De Leon, confirmed the news that the singer passed away this morning.
“This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world,” De Leon said. “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.”
James had been plagued with health issues stemming from a Leukemia diagnosis in early 2010 and also suffered from dementia and hepatitis C. In fact, she was hospitalized back in December but was later sent home after making some progress. Sadly, Etta’s family had been preparing for this moment for the past month and her husband of 42 years, Artis Mills, was recently awarded the executor of her estate.
James is, perhaps, best known for her 1961 hit ‘At Last’, the same song that was remade by singer Beyonce Knowles for the 2008 film, ‘Cadillac Records’. It was also the song Knowles chose to sing at the 2009 Inauguration Ball while President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama had their first dance.
The singer’s husband and two sons were by her side when she passed at a hospital in Riverside, California. She would have turned 74 Wednesday.
We keep James’ family in our prayers. May she rest in peace.