Beyonce Praises The “Eternally Great” Etta James

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Etta James would be a legendary performer no matter who paid their respects after her death. Still, it’s nice to see Etta get some much deserved love from her fellow divas. “This is a huge loss. Etta James was one of the greatest vocalists of our time,” Beyonce wrote on her website. “I am so fortunate to have met such a queen. Her musical contributions will last a lifetime.” Beyonce also cited her work in the 2008 historical drama Cadillac Records as an influence, a film in which she portrayed the late great singer. “Playing Etta James taught me so much about myself, and singing her music inspired me to be a stronger artist,” Bey said. “When she effortlessly opened her mouth, you could hear her pain and triumph. Her deeply emotional way of delivering a song told her story with no filter.” Beyonce also posted video of her on-screen rendition of Etta’s “I’d Rather Go Blind,” in case you haven’t cried enough today already.

If there’s anything more lovely than Beyonce’s touching homage, it’s the fact that she and Etta had enough time to squeeze in a little beef during their life times. After Beyonce sang James’ “At Last” at President Obama’s inauguration in 2009, the singer ripped on the “Countdown” singer, claiming, “I can’t stand Beyonce.” Later James admitted she was just joking. “Even as a little child, I’ve always had that comedian kind of attitude,” she explained. Concluded Beyonce, “She was fearless, and had guts. She will be missed.” A diva and a comedian? You better believe she will be.

[Photo: Getty Images]

Related: 50 Celebs Share Their Love For Etta James