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R&B legend Etta James died today from complications related to Leukemia. She was seventy-three years old, and would have been seventy-four next Wednesday. James was known for her definitive voice, timeless songs and eventful life. The singers’ memorable career offered the world beautiful songs like “At Last” and “Something's Got a Hold on Me”, not a surprise given how hard she worked for so long. Unfortunately, James was diagnosed with Leukemia back in 2010, only a couple of months after she was hospitalized for a blood infection.

CNN reports that Etta passed away at a hospital in Riverside, California early this morning with her husband and children by her side. Long time friend and manager Lupe De Leon said, “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.” The singer began to top the charts with her number one hit “Work With Me, Annie” in 1955. In 1960, James joined Chess Records and continued to find success with hits like “The Wallflower (Roll With Me, Henry)” and “Miss Peaches” before fading away in the late 60s. When she came back into the limelight, her music changed for a more soulful, powerful sound which helped her top the charts yet again.

Like her career, James’ personal life has had plenty of ups and downs. She dealt with a variety of addictions to drugs and alcohol, and suffered from several health issues including Hepatitis C. The amazing thing about her though, was that even in her darkest times, she still created work that thrilled audiences. The pop singer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and also received six Grammys throughout her lifetime. Etta James will be missed. To commemorate her passing, here's my favorite song...

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