Legendary singer Etta James succumbs to leukemia

etta-james-by-roland-godefroy.jpg

According to multiple media outlets, legendary jazz singer Etta James has died at the age of 73 due to complications from leukemia.

During her long and illustrious career, James was awarded six Grammys and was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. She was the unforgettable voice behind such classics as "The Wallflower" and "At Last," the latter of which was highlighted most recently by the runner-up in Simon Cowell's U.S. version of 'The X Factor,' Josh Krajcik.

James was born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles in 1938 to a teen mother. She never knew her father but long suspected that it was billiards legend Minnesota Fats. She got her start after being discovered singing in church and became something of a gospel prodigy, though her incredible career spanned several genres and even today remains difficult to pin down.

She was diagnosed with a chronic form of leukemia in 2010 but also had co-morbid conditions, including kidney failure, dementia and hepatitis C.

photo by Roland Godefroy

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