Etta James: Beyonce, Roseanne Barr, more celebs note her passing
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In the wake of Etta James’ death Friday at age 73, Beyonce and other celebrities expressed their sympathies over the singer’s passing.
‘This is a huge loss,’ Beyonce, who played James in the movie ‘Cadillac Records,’ said in a statement on her website. ‘Etta James was one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I am so fortunate to have met such a queen. Her musical contributions will last a lifetime.’
Beyonce said James’ music inspired her to be a stronger artist.
‘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. She was fearless, and had guts. She will be missed.’
James, whose condition was pronounced terminal in December, succumbed to complications of leukemia Friday morning at a hospital in Riverside, according to her son Donto and her personal doctor. Best known for the song ‘At Last,’ she had battled serious infections for years and also suffered from dementia.
Beyonce was far from alone in expressing herself.
‘Some of you young’ns may not be too familiar with Etta James but ... many of you are definitely familiar with her biggest hit song At Last (which Beyoncé performed at the inauguration of President Obama back in 2009),’ Pink explained Friday on her website.
‘Though she’s gone, her classic songs and undeniable influence on the music world will live on,’ said ‘America’s Got Talent’ host Nick Cannon, recently out of the hospital himself. Wife Mariah Carey added on Twitter, ‘Rest in peace to one of the world’s most influential singers Etta James, you will be missed.’
Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am tweeted, ‘Showing respect appreciation and love for all the wonderful music and joy #ettajames brought to the world...#ettajamesforever,’ and rapper Flo Rida said, ‘I’m deeply saddened by the passing of the Great Etta James and I will be forever grateful for the gift she Blessed me with.’ (He’d sampled her ‘Something’s Got a Hold on Me’ for a recent record, and added, ‘Etta James I dedicate ‘Good Feeling’ to you #RIP to a #Legend.’) Amber Riley of ‘Glee’ remembered ‘such a unique & beautiful voice,’ while Alyssa Milano said simply, ‘Rest in peace, Etta James.’ Adam Lambert, Mya, LeAnn Rimes, Cyndi Lauper and Chaka Khan also chimed in.
Roseanne Barr, who in 2002 had suggested gastric-bypass surgery to James, pointed her Twitter followers to a different title in the singer’s body of work: ‘Etta James-Rest In Peace, dear lady-read her book ‘A Rage to Survive’ -great american feminist.’
Barr also shared an anecdote about the late singer (‘Etta James let me sing ‘you can leave your hat on’ by randy newman with her on my talk show-it was a dream come true-she was so sweet.’) and expressed her displeasure about President Obama’s inauguration, when James was ‘dissed,’ she said, ‘when she was ill,’ in favor of Beyonce.
-- Christie D’Zurilla