Monday, 2 January 2012

This Week's Featured Artist....

Etta James was born Jamesetta Hawkins on January 25 1938 in Los Angeles. As a child, Etta was a gospel prodigy, singing in her church choir and on the radio at the age of five. When she turned twelve, she moved north to San Francisco where she formed a trio called The Creolettes (which later became The Peaches), and was soon working for bandleader Johnny Otis. When the trio split after 2 chart hits, Etta James began a solo career under the signing of Chess Records in 1960, and had a number of hits for the label, including "All I Could Do Was Cry," "My Dearest Darling," and "Trust in Me." However privately she was becoming a heroin addict, and her career suffered until 1967 when she had a come-back with "Tell Mama" and "I'd Rather Go Blind."
Her career lapsed again in the early 70's until she went into rehab.Though she continued to record but with limited success. In 1988 James signed with Island Records and released comeback album, Seven Year Itch. The album sold respectably and James was determined to keep her career on track, playing frequent live shows and recording regularly, issuing Stickin' to My Guns in 1990 and The Right Time in 1992. 
In all she recorded 29 studio albums, 4 live albums and 8 compilation albums.
In 2010, James was hospitalized with MRSA-related infections, and it was revealed that she had received treatment for dependence on painkillers and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. At 73, she is currently in a serious condition in hospital suffering from Leukaemia.

Edited to add that sadly Etta James lost her battle with Lukaemia on Friday January 20th, Her manager Lupe De Leon said: "She was a true original who could sing it all - her music defied category. This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world."

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