Etta James, the American singer known for her unique style in the genres of rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, gospel and jazz, died on Friday at the age of 73.
The singer, who made the timeless hits Dance With Me, Henry, At Last, Tell Mama, and I'd Rather Go Blind, was battling leukemia and died from complications associated with the disease, her personal physicians told the media. James died at Parkview Community Hospital in Riverside.
Donto and Sametto James, two sons of the famous singer, told the Los Angeles Times on Friday that their mother was a warm, loving woman who never sugarcoated the harsh, sometimes painful realities of life. Not even her own.
Throughout her life, James encountered several personal problems, including drug addiction.
Several celebrities have since issued statements and tweeted their comments on James' passing.
Beyonce, who recently gave birth to a daughter known as Blue Ivy Carter, issued a statement on her Web site, noting that James' death is a huge loss.
Beyonce played James in the movie Cadillac Records. She has said that James' music inspired her as an artist.
Etta James was one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I am so fortunate to have met such a queen, Beyonce's statement read. Her musical contributions will last a lifetime. Playing Etta James taught me so much about myself, and singing her music inspired me 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.
Here's what others in the world of music had to say:
our contributions to this earth are never erased...the spirit lives on... RIP Etta James >> - Russell Simmons
Omg, we lost Etta James today. May she rest in peace and thank you Etta for all the wonderful singing you left behind for us. I'll miss her - Cyndi Lauper
Showing respect appreciation and love for all the wonderful music and joy #ettajames brought to the world...#ettajamesforever - Will.i.am
#EttaJames, I will be forever grateful for your voice and your soul. Rest in peace. - Hayley Williams from Paramore
RIP to the wonderfully soulful Etta James. You will always be in our heart & on our radios. What a voice, a sad loss. - LeAnn Rimes
Watch Beyonce perform At Last in the video below:
Watch Beyonce play Etta James below: