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In Memoriam: The Amazing Career Of Singer Etta James

Etta James Death Her Career In Memoriam 
January 25, 2021 - 19:29 / Rachel Johnson

Etta James' death was mourned all over the world. The accomplished singer was well-loved and known for hit songs including "Tell Mama", "The Wallflower", and "At Last". When Etta passed away in 2012 the world lost a renowned singer. Join us in taking a look back at Etta James' impressive career that preceded her death. 

Etta James' death in 2012 was a difficult loss for both her family and fans. Born January 25, 1938 as Jamesetta Hawkins, Etta would start vocal training at the young age of five. While her childhood wasn't always happy, Etta was gifted musically. 

By the time she was 14, Etta and her girl group, the Creolettes (later the Peaches), had landed a record deal with Modern Records. It was at this time the talented singer would also adopt her stage name of Etta James.

Etta James' Death

Etta James performing in 1993

Etta James' death at 73 in 2012 came as a shock to many. While the actress had struggled with a number of illnesses the last few years of her life, including Alzheimer's, a bacterial infection, and leukemia, her death sent shock waves all over the world. 

Passing days before her 74th birthday, Etta's death would come only three days after Johnny Otis's, the producer who started Etta's career in 1952. Even more shocking was the passing of Etta's sideman, jazz musician Red Holloway, a month later. 

Etta's funeral would draw a large number of mourners and included tributes by artists like Stevie Wonder, Christina Aguilera, and Beyoncé. 

Etta James' Memory

Etta James Honored On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2003

Etta's memory continues to live on in the incredible music she has left behind. Popular hits from the singer include: 

  • "The Wallflower"
  • "At Last" 
  • "Tell Mama"
  • "Something's Got a Hold on Me"
  • and "I'd Rather Go Blind".

Etta is a legend in the music industry, ranked on Rolling Stone's Greatest Artists of All Time list as well as having achieved membership in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame. Etta James' deep and raw voice will continue to live on for decades after her death.