One of the legends of popular music died this morning after a long battle with leukemia. People magazine reports that 73-year-old blues singer Etta James died in Riverside, Calif.
Lupe De Leon, her longtime friend and manager, confirmed James’ death. "This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world,” De Leon said. “She was a true original who could sing it all — her music defied category. I worked with Etta for over 30 years. She was my friend and I will miss her always."
James, best known for her iconic 1961 hit "At Last," was a four-time Grammy Award winner and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. She had a troubled life, struggling with drugs and obesity. Her husband, Artis Mills, was imprisoned from 1972-82 after he took the fall for heroin charges involving the two of them, the story reports.
James went the the Betty Ford Clinic in 1988 to kick an addiction to codeine. She became drug free and remained that way for the rest of her life.
In the film "Cadillac Records," James was portrayed by Beyonce.