“At Last” Singer Etta James Passes Away

Three-time Grammy winner singer Etta James, best know for her hit “At Last,” died on Friday from complications of leukemia, age 73.

James died at a hospital in Riverside, California, east of Los Angeles, said her manager and friend of some 30 years, Lupe De Leon. She would have turned 74 on Wednesday.

“She passed away this morning. She was with her husband and her sons,” said De Leon.

James was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago and had been in failing health for a number of years. Her live-in doctor said in December she was terminally ill with leukemia. James also suffered from diabetes, kidney problems and dementia and was hospitalized late in 2011 because she was struggling to breathe.

James was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 but throughout her long career she diversified into mainstream blues, soul and R&B.

James’ last album, “The Dreamer,” was released in 2011. She spent the latter part of her life at home in California.

James won her first Grammy in 1995 for her album, “Mystery Lady: The Songs of Billie Holiday.” She also won Grammys in 2003 and 2005, as well as a lifetime achievement award in 2003 from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which gives out the Grammys.

She is survived by her husband, Artis Mills, two sons Donto and Sametto who played in James’ backing band, and four grandchildren.

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