Legendary blues singer Etta James is terminally ill, suffering through the final stages of a years-long battle with leukemia, dementia and Hepatitis C.
As Lupe De Leon, her manager of thirty years, tells fans to brace for the singer's passing, James' doctor urges her supporters to pray for the 73-year-old entertainer, saying her cancer has reached the incurable stage.
Fans Asked to Pray for Etta James
Dr. Elaine James, who is not related to the singer, told The Associated Press on Friday that Etta James was struggling at the end of a long battle with chronic leukemia, and that her cancer was declared incurable two weeks ago.
Noting that fans knew the blues-R&B legend was sick but not how sick, Dr. James said she was spreading the word of the singer's fast-fading health in order to get fans to pray for her.
Etta James was hospitalized in May for a life-threatening blood infection, and early in 2011 was diagnosed with both dementia and kidney failure. Her live-in doctor confirmed those diagnoses.
Dr. James' announcement comes as the family of the 1993 Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame inductee fights over the singer's $1 million dollar estate. Etta' son Donto wants a conservator rather than the singer's husband Artis Mills to look after James' estate when the singer dies.
'At Last' Singer is Music Legend
Fans are already taking the good doctor up on her urging. In the hour since news broke that the singer was terminally ill with leukemia, fans across Facebook and Twitter have kept the Queen of Soul in their hearts and prayers.
Amazing singer, amazing lady, one user tweeted. Praying for the Great legendary singer Etta James who is terminally ill, said another. We are losing another force of nature.
The Twitter trend At Last is also growing, recognizing one of Etta James' most enduring songs. But the blues great has far more than just this single to her name.
Etta James has won six Grammys over her career. She has a star on Hollywood's walk of fame, is a Rock 'N' Rock Hall of Fame inductee, and has recorded more than 25 albums over her five-decade career, the most recent of which, The Dreamer, was released in 2009.
In Final Stages: 'She was so vibrant and powerful.'
Confirming the report by her doctor, longtime manager Lupe De Leon told Entertainment Weekly that Etta James was indeed dying from a terminal illness.
She's in the final stages of leukemia, De Leon said. She has also been diagnosed with dementia and Hepatitis C.
Like many of her fans, De Leon remains in awe of Etta James, and what she was able to accomplish in her magnificent career.
It's ironic because she sounded so vibrant and powerful on [2009 album The Dreamer]. It was only recorded two and a half years ago.
Below, listen to one of Etta James' songs from The Dreamer, her cover of Otis Redding's Cigarettes & Coffee, and her timeless single At Last, the song that President Barack Obama chose for his first dance with wife Michelle during his inauguration.
Please keep blues, soul and R&B legend Etta James in your thoughts and prayers.
Etta James: Cigarettes & Coffee (Dreamer, 2009):
Etta James: At Last (At Last!, 1961)