Etta James stood out as a blues musician by calling on her gospel roots while intricately combining rock-n-roll, R&B and a little soul. She continuously created music that people could feel deep within their core. The early music of Etta James was as rich with sound as her later music was.
Etta James was a Los Angeles born native who grew up singing gospel. By the time that she was 12, she had moved to the great city of San Francisco. It was there that she had formed her first band (later to become the Peaches), which later became employed under Johnny Otis.
The truth of the matter is that the voice and charisma of Etta James wasn’t meant to be under another musician. As such, it was only a matter of time before Etta James struck out on her own. Etta recorded numerous hits throughout all stages of her career.
Like many musicians of her day, Etta James suffered a life of drug addiction. Even though she had a constant battle with drugs, she was still able to release hit after hit. We can only wonder how much more she would have or could have achieved if her drug addiction were removed.
Etta James became ill and had passed away earlier this year on January 20, 2012. Even with her declining health, Etta played music to the bitter end and released her final studio album (The Dreamer) in November of 2011, a mere two months before her death. Etta suffered from Leukemia, Dementia and Hepatitis C and yet still managed to release an album.