Etta James has died at age 73, according to her longtime manager.
The blues singer was born in 1938 in Los Angeles as Jamesetta Hawkins and proved herself a gospel prodigy from a young age, performing in churches and on the radio. At age 12, she began working with bandleader Johnny Otis and changed her stage name to Etta James; at 17, she launched a solo career where she became famous with ballads like “At Last.”
In 2008, Etta James was profiled in the film “Cadillac Records,” where she was played by Beyoncé Knowles; Beyoncé then performed “At Last” at President Barack Obama’s inaugural ball in 2009. Throughout her career, Etta James won four Grammys and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
Etta James struggled with drug addiction throughout her lifetime, as well as other health issues. She became ill in 2010, when doctors announced she had leukemia and dementia. According to CNN, Etta James passed at a hospital in Riverside, California, near her home.
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