Etta James’ life has been a rollercoaster of drugs and label success, of strong vocals and of health problems - a whirlwind of experiences that are difficult to map out. After being hospitalized in 2010, the famous blues singer’s son, Donto, announced she was diagnosed with dementia back in 2009. More recently, in May of this year, James was again hospitalized, this time for a blood infection.

The ailing singer also has leukemia, and as it turns out, the cancer is in its final stages. The terminally ill singer has been staying at a home under the care of a live-in doctor and her husband, Artis Mills, has been staying with her. James’ longtime manager, Lupe De Leon, spoke to EW recently to discuss the situation.
“Etta has a terminal illness. She’s in the final stages of leukemia. She has also been diagnosed with dementia and Hepatitis C…Her husband is with her 24 hours a day, and her sons visit regularly. We’re all very sad. We’re just waiting.”

De Leon went on to note James is mostly spending her time sleeping. That the whole thing is now just a waiting game is evident and comes at what seems will be a sad time for the family as the holidays are approaching. James was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 1993. The “At Last” singer’s influence in the industry will not be forgotten. The 73 year-old artist will leave behind numerous compilation contributions and 28 studio albums, the most recent of which was 2011’s The Dreamer. Difficult past or no, the singer will be missed.

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