Etta James, 'At Last' Crooner, Dies at 73

By Julie Shapiro on January 20, 2012 2:26pm 

MANHATTAN — Legendary blues crooner Etta James died Friday morning at the age of 73.

James, who skyrocketed to fame in the early 1960s with her enduring hit "At Last," died of complications from leukemia at a hospital in Riverside, Calif., the New York Times reported.

The powerful singer, who spanned genres from jazz to pop, was best known for hits such as "The Wallflower" and "All I Could Do Was Cry," along with "At Last."

A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, James garnered four Grammys over the course of her lengthy career, including a lifetime achievement award in 2003, the Times reported.

James struggled with drug addiction but made repeated comebacks after going to rehab and has performed all over the world.

James was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010 and died Friday with her longtime husband, Artis Mills, and her two sons at her side, CNN reported.

Beyoncé Knowles played James in the 2008 film "Cadillac Records" and sang a version of "At Last" for President Barack Obama's inaugural ball.

While James initially gave Knowles' portrayal positive reviews, James later sparked controversy by telling a Washington audience, "I can't stand Beyoncé," the Times reported.

James reportedly later said she was joking.

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