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Etta James was a great multi-genre singer who made it to the 22nd spot on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest list.
Since the age of 5, she received “physically abusive” vocal tutelage from a renowned musical director for 7 years. She formed the doo-wop girl group called the Creolettes by 14.
She earned a record deal soon after, changed her name, the group’s name to The Peaches and released her debut chart-topping single, Dance with Me, Henry in 1955.
Best Known For
Her fame came from her numerous songs that includes I’d Rather Go Blind, Something’s Got A Hold on Me, Tell Mama and The Wallflower.
Her 60-year career is highlighted with 29 studio albums and has been decorated with 17 BMAs and 6 Grammy Awards.
Etta was straight and until her demise, was married to Artie Mills since 1969. He even went to prison for a decade in the 80s when he took the blame of possession of heroin even when he and Etta were both arrested with it.
She was given the name Jamesetta Hawkins, the daughter of Dorothy Hawkins and an unknown father. She mothered 2 sons; Donto and Sametto who were both in a band with her.
Etta was a Christian. She became renowned for her gospel music which she used to portray her faith and devotion.
Worth To Know
She was an inductee into 3 different Halls of Fame; Rock and Roll, Grammy and Blues Hall of Fame.
Her life was riddled with several counts of drug abuse and addiction and checked herself into rehab more than twice.
She was 5 days away from turning 74 when she died of leukemia she had suffered from for a year.