Singer Etta James Passes Away

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Singer Etta James has died from complications of leukemia. She was 73.

The legendary singer's manager Lupe DeLeon confirmed that James died Friday at a hospital in Riverside, CA with her husband and sons at her side. "It's a tremendous loss for her fans around the world," DeLeon said. "She'll be missed. A great American singer. Her music defied category."

The At Last singer -- whose music spanned the R&B, jazz, blues and rock 'n' roll genres -- had recently been diagnosed with chronic, incurable leukemia. 

James recorded a string of hits in the late 1950s and '60s including Trust In Me, Something's Got a Hold On Me," Sunday Kind of Love, All I Could Do Was Cry and of course At Last. But her 50-year career also became overshadowed by an addiction to heroin that began in 1960 and lasted two decades.

Etta James Released from Hospital

In the 1980s she developed an addiction to painkillers and had also struggled with
her weight, often performing from a wheelchair as she got
older and heavier. In the early 2000s, weight-loss surgery allowed her to shed about 200 pounds.

James was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. She won a Grammy in 2003 for Best Contemporary Blues Album for Let's Roll, one in 2004 for Best Traditional Blues Album for Blues to the Bone and one for best jazz vocal performance for 1994's Mystery Lady: Songs of Billie Holiday. She was also awarded a special Grammy in 2003 for lifetime achievement and had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.