Etta James died on Friday after a long illness, with her husband and son at her side in Riverside, Calif.
James was 73, and had been battling leukemia since 2010. According to CNN, the cause of death was complications from leukemia.
Erroneous reports of Etta's death have been circulating since August, when a website posted a fake death announcement of the ill singer, who suffered from dementia and hepatitis C in addition to the leukemia.
The death hoax was quickly dispelled, but in December songwriter Diane Warren tweeted an erroneous message that James had died.
Warren likely misunderstood reports at the time that James was very sick.
The previous day, Dr. Elaine James had told The Riverside Press Enterprise that Etta was in the terminal stage of leukemia and was not expected to live much longer.
I am Southern and Christian and would just ask for the prayers of her fans and friends, Dr. James told the local newspaper.
They [Etta's fans] know she's been sick, but not how sick, Dr. James (who is no relation to Etta) added.
James was best known for her timeless and oft-covered ballad At Last, and was apparently upset when Beyonce sang the song for President Obama and the first lady at the 2009 Inaugural Ball.
During a concert in Seattle in late January 2009, James reportedly told the audience that Beyonce had no business up there, singing up there on a big ol' president day, gonna be singing my song that I've been singing forever.
Beyonce portrayed the R&B legend in the 2008 film Cadillac Records.
James would have been 74 on Wednesday. Her final album, The Dreamer, was released in Nov. 2011.