Posted on Fri Jan 20, 2012 09:40 AM PDT
Beloved soul singer Etta James, the powerful voice behind the chart-topping 1961 hit "At Last," has died at the age of 73 after losing a lengthy battle with leukemia, her Longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon, said on Friday.
De Leon, first confirmed the news to CNN, saying in a statement:
- "This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world. 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 was first admitted to the hospital in January 2010, after suffering from a blood infection, before retuning to seek care in May 2011 for a urinary tract infection and the blood infection sepsis.
The four-time Grammy winner was inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, and was famously portrayed by Beyonce in the 2008 movie Cadillac Records.
Knowles released a statement after the singer's death, expressing: "This is a huge loss. Etta James was one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I am so fortunate to have met such a queen. Her musical contributions will last a lifetime."
Christina Aguilera, among others, have credited Etta as their inspiration for getting into the music industry.
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