The American singer, Etta James, has died from complications of leukaemia at the age of 73.
A pioneer of 1950s rhythm-and-blues and rock music, the triple Grammy Award winner was perhaps best known for her show-stopping hit “At Last” and “I’d rather go blind.”
“Etta James is simply one of the best singers I’ve ever heard,” singer-guitarist Bonnie Raitt wrote in Rolling Stone magazine. “… Etta is earthy and gritty, ribald and out-there in a way that few performers have the guts to be.”
James was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago and had been in failing health for a number of years. Her live-in doctor said in December she was terminally ill with leukemia. James also suffered from diabetes, kidney problems and dementia and was hospitalised late in 2011 because she was struggling to breathe. The R&B singer saw numerous ups-and-downs in her career and personal life
Over the decades, James’ hit the R&B charts with 30 singles, and placed nine of those songs in pop music’s top 40. She has often been cited as influencing singers including Raitt, Janis
Joplin and Tina Turner.
James’ last album, “The Dreamer,” was released in 2011. She spent the latter part of her life at home in California.