Etta James was born as Jamesetta Hawkins on 25th January 1938, in Los Angeles, California USA, and was a singer who was known for performing in several genres including blues, R&B, soul, rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, and gospel. On her 2004 release, Blue Gardenia, she returned to a jazz style. Following this brief success, however, she left Chess Records and did not record for another ten years as she struggled with drug addiction and alcoholism. The original title of the song was "Roll with Me, Henry", but it was changed to avoid censorship due to the off-color title (roll implying sexual activity). James cites singers James Brown, Roberta Flack, Toni Braxton, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, Gladys Knight, Mavis Staples, Etta James and Stevie Wonder as her influences. Also in 1995, she recorded the album Time After Time. In 1961, she released a second studio album, The Second Time Around, covering many genres, and using strings on many of the songs generating two hit singles, Fool That I Am, and , Don't Cry Baby. She was continuously in and out of rehabilitation centers, including the Tarzana Treatment Centers, in Los Angeles, California. Etta was married to Artis Mills, with whom she had two children. [62], The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. American R&B/soul contralto vocalist (born January 25, 1938, Los Angeles, California, USA - died January 20, 2012, Riverside, California, USA), the most prominent female vocalist of the Chess label. The same sample was used by the east coast rapper Flo Rida in his 2011 hit single "Good Feeling". After a bad patch, she returned with the single and album, Tell Mama, in 1967. Unlike most who live through what she experienced with drugs, James did . Two of her songs were given Grammy Hall of Fame Awards for "qualitative or historical significance- At Last, and, Dance with Me, Henry. The woman couldn't just sing the blues - she also lived them. James performed at the top jazz festivals in the world, such as the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1977, 1989, 1990 and 1993. Many of the backing musicians were top-flight players from Los Angeles: Rick Rosas (bass), Michael Huey (drums), Ed Sanford (Hammond B3 organ), Kip Noble (piano) and Josh Sklair, her longtime guitar player. [20] That success was quickly followed by "Stop the Wedding", which reached number six on the R&B chart and also had gospel elements. [15] The album won James her first Grammy Award, for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Female, in 1994. Under his tutelage, she suffered physical abuse during her formative years, with her instructor often punching her in the chest while she sang to force her voice to come from her gut. Celebrities Who Are Not In The Limelight Anymore. [66], 1938–1959: Childhood and career beginnings, 1960–1978: Chess and Warner Brothers years, Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album, list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, "Etta James Hospitalized, Tour Suspended", "Etta James: Acclaimed Soul Singer Who Fought to Overcome Her Personal Demons", "Etta James | Biography & History | AllMusic", "Happy Birthday Etta James: Grateful Dead Sit-In On New Year's 1982", "Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Opening Ceremony Complete", "Playboy Jazz Festival Historical Highlights", "North Sea Jazz program archive | NN North Sea Jazz Festival", "Beyonce to Portray Legendary Blues Singer Etta James in 'Cadillac Records, "Etta James Says Rip on Beyonce Was a Joke", "Hospitalized Etta James Battling Alzheimer's, Infection, Son Says", "Etta James Remembered by will.i.am, Hayley Williams", "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire", "100 Greatest Artists of All Time:Etta James", "Etta James, the husky-voiced R&B singer, dies at 73", "Etta James' husband, sons battle over money for her care", "James pours heart, soul into set To the 'Last, "Remembering Etta James, Stunning Singer", "Etta James Faces New Cort Action In Los Angeles", "Son says singer Etta James changes hospitals", "Etta James' estate settled in wake of terminally ill diagnosis", "Etta James Dies at 73; Voice Behind 'At Last, "Highly regarded L.A. tenor, alto saxophonist played with A-list stars", "Rhythm & Blues Foundation – Preserving America's Soul", "Singer Etta James Displays Her Star With U S... Nieuwsfoto's | Getty Images Nederland | 1939332", "Recording Academy Honors Etta James, Simon & Garfunkel, Alan Lomax | News", "The Blues Foundation: About The Blues Foundation", "The Blues Foundation: Past Blues Music Awards", Burnin' Down the House: Live at the House of Blues, Miss Etta James: The Complete Modern and Kent Recordings, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Etta_James&oldid=991219243, African-American female singer-songwriters, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winners, Short description is different from Wikidata, All articles with vague or ambiguous time, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, In 2006, James received the Billboard R&B Founders Award, This page was last edited on 28 November 2020, at 22:48. [35], On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Etta James among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire. She was born on January 25, 1938, in Los Angeles, California to her mother Dorothy Hawkins who was only 14-years-old. Etta James Fans Also Viewed . It was the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world. Most Popular #10955. After a period of isolation, she returned to recording in 1967 and reemerged with more gutsy R&B numbers thanks to her recording at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Musician Bobby Murray toured with James for over 20 years. [16] James followed that with "Trust in Me", which also included string instruments. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001. She recorded the hit ballad, My Dearest Darling, in 1960, to the accompaniment of string instruments, and sang background vocals on label mate Chuck Berry's, Back in the U.S.A. Jamesetta Hawkins (January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012), known professionally as Etta James, was an American singer who performed in various genres, including blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, jazz and gospel. [38] James's voice deepened and coarsened, moving her musical style in her later years into the genres of soul and jazz.[15]. Whether she sings string-laden pop ballads, lively soul, or gritty electric blues, James's high-powered, enormously expressive voice displays a knack for passionate blues inflections. Etta James, the legendary singer, passed away this month, leaving behind a library of incredible music and a success story to inspire any woman in recovery. James started adding gospel elements in her music the following year, releasing "Something's Got a Hold on Me", which peaked at number four on the R&B chart and was a Top 40 pop hit. [16] In 1963, she had another major hit with "Pushover" and released the live album Etta James Rocks the House, recorded at the New Era Club in Nashville, Tennessee. These sessions yielded her comeback hit "Tell Mama", co-written by Clarence Carter, which reached number ten R&B and number twenty-three pop. In 1984 she contacted David Wolper and asked to perform in the opening ceremony of the 1984 Summer Olympics, at which she sang "When the Saints Go Marching In". In 1962, she began using gospel elements and, Something's Got a Hold on Me, got to No.4 on the R&B chart while, Stop the Wedding, reached No.6 on the R&B charts. [30] She performed six times at the North Sea Jazz Festival, in 1978, 1982, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1993. Who Is The Greatest Female Warrior In History? Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé, and Christina Aguilera each gave a musical tribute. [21] The B-side of "Tell Mama" was "I'd Rather Go Blind", which became a blues classic and has been recorded by many other artists. Clarence Carter. Etta James Popularity . In 1989, she signed with Island Records and released the albums Seven Year Itch and Stickin' to My Guns, both of which were produced by Barry Beckett and recorded at FAME Studios. Like many others, I was introduced to Etta James through great songs, like, "At Last," "I Just Wanna Make Love To You," "I'm a W-O-M-A-N," and "All I Could Do is Cry." Pretty Lights sampled the song in "Finally Moving", followed by Avicii's dance hit "Levels", and again in Flo Rida's single "Good Feeling". According to Etta, her biological father was Rudolf Wanderone, a professional billiards player, who was the son of Swiss parents, Rudolph Wanderone and Rosa Bergin. [12], By 1998, with the release of Life, Love & the Blues, she had added as backing musicians her sons, Donto and Sametto, on drums and bass, respectively. An album of the same name was also released that year and included her take on Otis Redding's "Security". Her continuing relevance was affirmed in 2011 when the late Swedish DJ Avicii achieved substantial chart success with the song "Levels", which samples her 1962 song "Something's Got a Hold on Me". Etta James, Soundtrack: Sgt. [55][56] Her death came three days after that of Johnny Otis, the man who had discovered her in the 1950s. Born on January 25 #25. In 1988, at the age of 50, James entered the Betty Ford Center, in Rancho Mirage, California, for treatment. [7] Her mother was frequently absent from their apartment in Watts, conducting relationships with various men, and James lived with a series of foster parents, most notably "Sarge" and "Mama" Lu. *Etta James was born on this date in 1938. In 2003, she received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. When Mama Lu died in 1950, Dorothy took her to the Fillmore District, San Francisco where she was exposed to doo-wop and was inspired to form a girl group, called the Creolettes. Etta James, popular American rhythm-and-blues entertainer who in time became a successful ballad singer. Her first solo hit was the doo-wop–styled rhythm-and-blues song "All I Could Do Was Cry", which was a number two R&B hit. Short Biography. King when she was 16. Though the record was not as successful as expected, her rendition has become the best-known version of the song. Etta James was born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles and had a very tumultuous childhood as she was brought up by foster parents who ill-treated her. Etta James Is A Member Of . . The album took the same direction as her first, covering jazz and pop standards and with strings on many of the songs. She was continuously in and out of rehabilitation centers. she was seen as bridging the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll. [29] She performed nine times at the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival and five times at the San Francisco Jazz Festival. [2], James's powerful, deep, earthy voice bridged the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll. During her hospitalization, her son Donto revealed that she had received a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in 2008. Etta James was born in 1938 as Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles, California. Most Popular #35978. [22] According to her account, she wrote the rest of the song with Jordan, but for tax reasons gave her songwriting credit to her partner at the time, Billy Foster. Presley died a year later. There James formed a girl doo-wop trio called the Creolettes, The 1930s were called the Great Depression (1929-1939). [15] After signing with Chess Records in 1960, James broke through as a traditional pop-styled singer, covering jazz and pop music standards on her debut album, At Last! James continued to perform on occasion in the early 1980s, including two guest appearances at Grateful Dead concerts in December 1982. Two of her early songs have been given Grammy Hall of Fame Awards for "qualitative or historical significance": "At Last", in 1999,[67] and "The Wallflower (Dance with Me, Henry)" in 2008. Silky voiced singer added James has passed away after a long struggle with leukemia. [50] In 1969, she spent 10 days in prison for violating probation. [59], In 1989, the newly formed Rhythm and Blues Foundation included James in their first Pioneer Awards for artists whose "lifelong contributions have been instrumental in the development of Rhythm & Blues music". In 2008, James was portrayed by Beyoncé Knowles in the film Cadillac Records, a fictional account of Chess Records, James's label for 18 years, and how label founder and producer Leonard Chess helped the careers of James and others. In 1952, she met musician Johnny Otis who helped the band sign to Modern Records and changing their name to the Peaches and gave the singer her stage name reversing Jamesetta into "Etta James". She continued to work with Chess throughout the 1960s and early '70s. James has influenced a wide variety of musicians, including Diana Ross, Christina Aguilera, Janis Joplin, Brandy, Bonnie Raitt, Shemekia Copeland,[20] and Hayley Williams of Paramore[39] as well as British artists The Rolling Stones,[40] Elkie Brooks,[41] Paloma Faith,[42] Joss Stone[43] Rita Ora, and Adele,[44] and the Belgian singer Dani Klein. James referred to her mother as "the Mystery Lady". In the 1950s and 1960s, she had her biggest success as a blues and R&B singer. [34], James was diagnosed with leukemia in early 2011. Etta James thought that Minnesota Fats was her father. Etta James biography with personal life (affair, boyfriend , Lesbian), married info (husband, children, divorce). A Christmas album, Etta James Christmas, was released in 1998. Etta James Rocks the House, her first and finest live album was released in 1964. [24] In 1987, she performed "Rock & Roll Music" with Chuck Berry in the documentary film Hail! James was reared by foster parents until her mother (who was 14 when James was born) took her 12-year-old daughter to San Francisco. [21] The album did not produce any major hits; neither did the follow-up, Come a Little Closer, in 1974, though, like Etta James before it, the album was also critically acclaimed. James continued to record for Chess (now owned by All Platinum Records), releasing one more album in 1976, Etta Is Betta Than Evvah! NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The widow of billiards legend Minnesota Fats said Tuesday her husband always denied that he was the father of singer Etta James. In an interview with the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Etta said she hadn’t known that her mother was a singer. She claimed that actor; Rudolf Wanderone Jr. was her father. As a child, James lived with a series of caregivers. James called her mother Dorothy “The Mystery Lady” due to her often disappearances. Starting her career in 1954, she gained fame with hits such as "The Wallflower", "At Last", "Tell Mama", "Something's Got a Hold on Me", and "I'd Rather Go Blind". What is also in question is why writer/director, Darnell Martin would write the role of Etta James with Beyonce in mind as stated in the New York Times. Etta James was born on January 25, 1938 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Jamesetta Hawkins. Here’s our list of the best movies to watch with your parents. James … Etta James was an American singer who sung in multiple genres including jazz, blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, and gospel. [14] In early 1955, she and an aspiring singer, the 19-year-old Elvis Presley, then recording for Sun Studios and an avid fan of King's, shared a bill in a large club just outside Memphis. Wisdom For Adult Children Caring For Aging Parents Five-time Pulitzer Prize nominee Jane Gross reported on a wide range of issues for the The ... a tribute to the legendary singer Etta James… [8], Sarge, like the musical director for the choir, was also abusive. Brussels music act Vaya Con Dios covered the song on their 1990 album Night Owls. She is the winner of four Grammies, seventeen Blues Music Awards, and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (in 1993), the Blues Hall of Fame (in 2001), and the Grammy Hall of Fame (in both 1999 and 2008). Her funeral was presided over by Reverend Al Sharpton and took place in Gardena, California eight days after her death. The members of the Blues Foundation, set up in Memphis, Tennessee, awarded her Blues Female Artist of the Year award 14 times and inducted her into the Blues Hall of Fame. Powerful blues belter who recorded many enduring hits, including "At Last," "Tell Mama," and "I'd Rather … The 73-year-old singer infamously struggled with dependence upon multiple drugs during her career but ultimately overcame addiction. She was placed on probation and ordered to pay a $500 fine. Dueting with Harvey Fuqua, James recorded for Argo Records (later renamed Cadet Records), a label established by Chess. [18] The album included the future classic "I Just Want to Make Love to You" and "A Sunday Kind of Love". James recorded the version, for which she was given credit as co-author, in 1954, and the record was released in early 1955 as "Dance with Me, Henry". In her autobiography, she said that the time she spent in the hospital changed her life. [1] She faced a number of personal problems, including heroin addiction, severe physical abuse, and incarceration, before making a musical comeback in the late 1980s with the album Seven Year Itch. [69][70], The members of the Blues Foundation, a nonprofit organization set up in Memphis, Tennessee, to foster the blues and its heritage,[71] have nominated James for a Blues Music Award nearly every year since its founding in 1980; and she received some form of Blues Female Artist of the Year award 14 times since 1989, continuously from 1999 to 2007. It was not until the early 1990s, when she began receiving major industry awards from the Grammys and the Blues Foundation, that she received wide recognition. [4][5], Hawkins was born on January 25, 1938, in Los Angeles, California, to Dorothy Hawkins, who was 14 at the time. [12], James signed with Private Music Records in 1993 and recorded a Billie Holiday tribute album, Mystery Lady: Songs of Billie Holiday. [36], James possessed the vocal range of a contralto. [72] Her albums Life, Love, & the Blues (1999), Burnin' Down the House (2003), and Let's Roll (2004) were awarded Soul/Blues Album of the Year,[72] and in 2001 she was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. Aquarius. After a ten year battle with drug addiction and alcoholism, she released two albums in 1989 - Seven Year Itch, and Stickin' to My Guns, produced by Barry Becket and recorded at Fame Studios. She was buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Los Angeles County, California. Hail! Etta James was once among the most woefully overlooked figures in the history of blues and rock. From 1989, James received over 30 awards and recognitions from eight different organizations, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum[58] and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences which organizes the Grammys. When her contract with Modern came up for renewal in 1960, she signed a contract with Chess Records instead. By Timothy Mangan | Orange County Register. [12] Its success gave the group an opening spot on Little Richard's national tour.[13]. Blues Singer. [15], By the mid-1990s, James's earlier classic music was being used in commercials, including "I Just Wanna Make Love to You". , which reached number two on the R&B chart and followed that up with, Trust in Me, to string instruments. James ventured into rock and funk with the release of her self-titled album in 1973, with production from the famed rock producer Gabriel Mekler, who had worked with Steppenwolf and Janis Joplin, who had admired James and had covered "Tell Mama" in concert. She announced that this would be her final album. Her first was in 1995, when she was awarded Best Jazz Vocal Performance for the album Mystery Lady, which consisted of covers of Billie Holiday songs. … She had two sons Donto and Sametto, both of whom are performers. Her records continued to chart in the R&B Top 40 in the early 1970s, with singles such as "Losers Weepers" (1970) and "I Found a Love" (1972). The Wallflower, or Dance with Me, Henry, written by Johnny Otis, Hank Ballard, and Etta James was recorded by her for Modern Records in 1955 and topped the U.S. R&B chart for 4 weeks. Her deep, rich, and gritty vocals have drawn comparisons to Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Toni … [15] The first string-laden ballad James recorded was "My Dearest Darling" in May 1960, which peaked in the top five of the R&B chart. James’ father was white and has never been identified but James speculated that he was the pool player, Rudolf "Minnesota Fats" Wanderone. ’Rage To Survive’, this legendary American musical great’s autobiography takes us on a troubled trip to stardom from her traumatic childhood to her harrowing battle with addiction and illness. She received her first professional vocal training at the age of five from James Earle Hines, musical director of the St. Paul Baptist Church Echoes of Eden choir, in south central Los Angeles. Etta James is an American blues, soul, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, gospel and jazz singer and songwriter. Otis took the group under his wing, helping them sign to Modern Records and changing their name from the Creolettes to the Peaches. At the age of 14, she met musician Johnny Otis. Born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles to 14-year-old Dorothy Hawkins. [15] That same year, James was the opening act for the Rolling Stones and performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Discover what happened on this day. The illness became terminal, and her husband Artis Mills was appointed sole conservator of the James estate and to oversee her medical care. She possessed the vocal range of a contralto and was initially marketed as R&B and doo-wop singer but broke through as a traditional pop-styled singer, covering jazz and pop music standards. In recent years,[when?] She was a Black singer. Bobby Murray (born June 9, 1953) is an American electric blues guitarist, songwriter and record producer who has played in Etta James' backing band for twenty three years, performed on three Grammy Award winning recordings with James and B.B. She tied the knot in May of 2018. James sang background vocals for her labelmate Chuck Berry on his "Back in the U.S.A."[16][17], Her debut album, At Last!, was released in late 1960 and was noted for its varied selection of music, from jazz standards to blues to doo-wop and rhythm and blues (R&B). Born in 1938 #12. First Name Etta #1. Charlie Thomas. Though James began doing the kind of gospel-influenced R&B (which later got described as “soul” music), in the early 1960s, it was Aretha Franklin who got credit for ushering in the soul era, along with James Brown (whom James toured with, and sometimes sang for in the 1960s). She died on January 20, 2012 in Riverside, California. In 1950, Mama Lu died, and James's biological mother took her to the Fillmore district of San Francisco. [20] The album set a trend of incorporating more jazz elements in James's music. https://www.grammy.com/grammys/news/etta-james-1938%E2%80%932012, https://www.facebook.com/EttaJames/photos/rpp.63294071630/10151565365141631/?type=3&theater, https://www.facebook.com/EttaJames/photos/a.10151157659121631/10155634711576631/?type=3&theater, https://www.wbur.org/news/2012/01/20/etta-james, https://www.sodahead.com/entertainment/at-last---etta-james-thumbs-up-or-thumbs-down/question-4690942/?page=1&postId=136079068#post_136079068, http://www.ebony.com/video/entertainment-culture/beyonce-as-etta-james-id-rather-go-blind#.VbsgtrUpp2A. [20] In 2010, James received treatment for a dependency on painkillers. In 1995, her autobiography, A Rage to Survive, co-written with David Ritz, was published. Her self-titled album in 1973 was notable for its rock and funk styles, produced by the renowned rock producer Gabriel Mekler and nominated for a Grammy but did not do well commercially. Blues Singer #1. It was an attempt to catch the singer in a raw and fiery performance outside the recording studio. She was awarded Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance for the album Mystery Lady, and two more for, Let's Roll, and, Blues to the Bone, for Best Contemporary and Traditional Blues Albums categories respectively. Rock 'n' Roll.[25]. [33] It was later reported that Alzheimer's disease and "drug-induced dementia" had contributed to her negative comments about Knowles.

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