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Monday, January 30, 2012


Dorothy Hawkins was only 14 when she gave birth to Jamesetta Hawkins. Jamesetta born on January 25, 1938, in Los Angeles, California knew at a young age that she wanted to sing .At the age of five James received her first professional vocal lesson from James Earle Hines. Hines was a musical director of the local church choir, in Los Angeles. Jamesetta Hawkins known as Etta James had a variety of musical styles. Her style touched some of every music genre like blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, gospel and jazz. Starting her career in the mid-1950s, she gained fame with hits such s "Dance With Me, Henry", "At Last", "Tell Mama", and "I'd Rather Go Blind" Throughout her life she faced a number of personal problems, one of the more memorable was he battle with drug addiction, before making a musical resurface in the late 1980s with the album The Seven Year Itch. By the mid-1990s, James' earlier classic music was played in different commercials "I Just Wanna Make Love to You". Due to exposure of the song in a particular UK commercial, the song reached the top ten of the UK charts in 1996. James continued to record for Private Music, she released a blues album entitled “Matriarch of the Blues in 2000. The release of this album had James returning to her R&B roots with Rolling Stones hailing it as a "solid return to roots", further stating that the album found the singer "reclaiming her throne — and defying anyone to knock her off it.” In 2001, James was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, the latter for her contributions to the developments of both rock and roll music and rockabilly. In 2011, James was voted one of the 11 Best Singers on Earth by viewers and representatives of the Encyclopedia of Popular Music. In recent years, James was seen as bridging the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll. In 2009 James was able to make a final television appearance, as she performed one last time on Dancing with the stars, one of her more famous singles “At Last”. In November 2011, James released her final album “The Dreamer” , which was critically acclaimed upon its release. James released a statement that this would be her final album. Early 2011, James was diagnosed with leukemia. The illness became terminal and on January 20,2012 just days before her 74th birthday we lost the beautiful, talented soul diva. Although she lived a full and beautiful life Etta James will be missed by all those that she has influenced throughout her life.

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