Blues Legend Etta James Has Passed at 73

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Blues legend [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Etta James[/lastfm], born Jamesetta Hawkins, has died today at the age of 73. The 73-year-old had recently been hospitalized for breathing trouble after being diagnosed with terminal leukemia.

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Etta’s signature hit was the classic favorite “At Last,” though she had numerous hits in the 1950s and ’60s. Other hits included “Trust In Me,” Something’s Got a Hold On Me,” “Sunday Kind of Love” and “All I Could Do Was Cry.”

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In 1961, “At Last” put Etta James on the map.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked James #22 on their list of 100 greatest singers of all time. The 3-time GRAMMY winner got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003.

In 2008, James was portrayed by Beyonce Knowles in the movie Cadillac Records. James knocked [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Beyonce[/lastfm]‘s performance, though James’ son attributed the critique to “drug-induced dementia.” The pop star also sang “At Last” for the president and first lady during their first dance at the 2009 inaugural festivities.

James battled obesity and a heroin addiction that interrupted her career earlier on. Her health declined dramatically in recent years. Complicating matters, her sons and husband argued over managing her $1 million estate and medical care.

“I want for my mother the best care possible. I mean, that’s just it. That’s my mother,” Donto James said.

James died at Riverside Community Hospital with her husband and sons by her side.

“It is a tremendous loss for her fans around the world,” De Leon said. “She’ll be missed. A great American singer. Her music defied category.”

Read More on CBSNewYork >

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