Singer Etta James Dies at 73

The legendary R&B singer died Friday at age 73 after a long career filled with hits—as well as with storied medical problems. See full coverage of the singer’s life.

01.20.12 9:39 PM ET

Legendary R&B singer Etta James died Friday after a long battle with leukemia. She was 73. Known as “Miss Peaches,” James’s career began in the 1950s and defied all genres with hits including “The Wallflower” and “At Last.” The winner of six Grammys and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, James debuted the voice that would send her to stardom in Los Angeles church choirs. Though she never achieved the degree of popular success enjoyed by other R&B and soul stars, James’s impact on pop, rock, and rhythm and blues continues to be felt—she has been cited as an influence by Adele and was portrayed by Beyoncé in 2008’s Cadillac Records. In recent years, James had been diagnosed with leukemia, dementia, and hepatitis C while her family battled over her estate.

Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

The bedridden blues icon is too sick to speak up as her son and husband battle over her estate in court. Christine Pelisek reports on the sordid drama.



Beyoncé Meets Etta
By Rachel Syme

The Daily Beast's Rachel Syme talks with 'Cadillac Records' director Darnell Martin about getting Beyoncé, Mos Def, and Jeffrey Wright to channel Chicago's blues legends.