My mother always told me, even if a song has been done a thousand times, you can still bring something of your own to it. I’d like to think I did that.
Etta James, born Jamesetta Hawkins, has died at age 73 due to complications from leukemia just a week from her birthday.
As soon as I heard the news, I turned to listen to the song that has blared from my Itunes many times before…”At last/ My love has come along/ My lonely days are over/ and life is like a song…”
James’s bluesy voice was filled with raw emotion and power. Her lyrics spoke of God, love and heartbreak. Her range was limitless and each note she sang moved you to feel the way she felt.
Like many other singers of her time, James had a strong background in gospel music. Named a gospel prodigy, she began singing in her church choir and on the radio at age five. Her career had many ups and downs, yet she still managed to accumulate four Grammy’s and a lifetime achievement award.
Although drugs found their way into her life, James’s voice still held a dynamic that many aspiring singers try to imitate to day. She is truly an icon for African Americans and an icon for musicians. Her great voice will always sing on…
At Last… An angel has gone above… Ms. James’ suffering is over… but her life sings on through song….
Rest In Peace Mrs. Jamesetta “Etta James” Hawkins