It is with great sadness that the singer of one of the most romantic wedding songs of our time passed away today. Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins; January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012) was an American singer whose style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, gospel and jazz. Starting her career in the mid 1950s, she gained fame with hits such as “Dance With Me, Henry”, “At Last”, “Tell Mama”, and “I’d Rather Go Blind”.
Regarded as having bridged the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll, she is also the winner of six Grammys and 17 Blues Music Awards. Etta was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in both 1999 and 2008. Rolling Stone ranked her number 22 on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and number 62 on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists. My thoughts are with her family at this difficult time.
Here’s a video of Etta James singing ‘At Last’ (my favourite of her songs) on Dancing with the Stars.