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
We loved Etta James with all our heart, soul and ears. And obviously so did a MANY of other people. Ever since learning of the singing legend’s tragic passing this morning, celebrities of every stripe have taken to twitter to pay their respects. Click under the jump to see what some of your favorites had to say about the lovely Miss James. And head on over to VH1 Tuner to read her full story and browse through a photo retrospective of her amazing life.
Sad news to pass along. After a long battle with leukemia, it has been announced that legendary Etta James has died at the age of 73. The legendary American blues, soul, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, gospel, and jazz singer’s terminal illness was originally diagnosed with leukemia back in 2010, and finally succumbed to the illness with her husband, Artis Mills, and her sons by her side.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, James began formal vocal training at age five, participating in her local Baptist Church’s choir, and by age 14 she had a number one hit in 1955 with her doo-wop band, Peaches, entitled “The Wallflower (Dance With Me, Henry).” James signed to Argo Records in 1960 under which she released her two most lauded albums, At Last! and The Second Time Around. Her two most highly-regarded songs are “At Last,” released in 1961, and “I’d Rather Go Blind,” released in 1968.
Continue reading Etta James’ obituary and browse through a photo gallery of the late singer at VH1 Tuner.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Remember when Beyonce sang Etta James‘ “At Last” during Barack and Michelle Obama‘s first dance at the inaugural ball? That thing might go down as the most romantic moment of 2009! Who didn’t swoon? Who wasn’t touched?
Etta f—ing James, that’s who! James may have smiled politely next to B at the Cadillac Records premiere, but she’s so sick and tired of that girl jocking her steez that she’s gone and lost all her patriotism.
You guys know your president, right? You know the one with the big ears? Wait a minute, he ain’t my president. He might be yours; he ain’t my president. But I tell you that woman he had singing for him, singing my song — she’s going to get her ass whipped. The great Beyonce. Like I said, she ain’t mine…I can’t stand Beyonce. She has no business up there, singing up there on a big ol’ president day, gonna be singing my song that I’ve been singing forever.
James who made the rant at a concert in Seattle last week, couldn’t attend the inauguration due to health concerns. While we understand her annoyance, we think she’s a little hard on Beyonce. Hardly any of her hit ballads are love songs, and “Cater 2 U” is probably too subservient for Michelle’s taste. It had to be a cover! And if Obama isn’t Etta’s president—who is? We have a hard time believing she was a McCainiac.