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Etta James | 1976
Etta James | 1976
Etta James performs at L.A.'s Cocoanut Grove nightclub in 1976. Despite her early commercial success, she struggled for much of her life with her weight, with addictions to heroin, cocaine and alcohol and with her tumultuous relationship with her mother, who was just 14 when she gave birth to Jamesetta Hawkins on Jan. 25, 1938.
Etta James | 1985
Etta James | 1985
Etta James is best known for "At Last," the powerhouse ballad that became a hit in 1961 and which holds a place in the Grammy Hall of Fame. Channeling a sense of joy that sounded like the gates of heaven had just opened to welcome her in, James sang, "At last, my love has come along/My lonely days are over/My life is like a song."
Etta James | 1989
Etta James | 1989
Etta James at the Hollywood Bowl on Sept. 13, 1989. The child of a single teenage mother growing up in South Los Angeles during World War II, she never knew her father but remained convinced throughout her life that he was pool shark Minnesota Fats.
Etta James | 1990
Etta James | 1990
Etta James at the Playboy Jazz Festival in June 1990. Early in her career, she fell under the positive and negative influences of musicians she revered such as Billie Holiday as well as some with whom she crossed paths on the road, including Ray Charles and Chet Baker, all of whom struggled with addiction. "All of my role models at that time, the ones I looked up to most, were heroin addicts," she told The Times in 1993. "I think subconsciously I thought that was a cool thing."
Etta James | 1991
Etta James | 1991
Etta James headlined at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1991. She was adored by rock's elite, including the Rolling Stones, who drafted her in 1979 as the opening act on their U.S. tour, and voters at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who inducted her in 1993.
Etta James | 1993
Etta James | 1993
Etta James performs at the Orange County Blues Festival in Dana Point in September 1993.
Etta James | 1999
Etta James | 1999
Etta James performs at the House of Blues in 1999. She coaxed esteemed R&B producer Jerry Wexler, who had been pivotal in the careers of Aretha Franklin, Ruth Brown, Otis Redding and numerous others, out of retirement to oversee her 1993 album "The Right Time." At the time, Wexler said, "I've never done anything better, and I've done a lot of records."
Etta James | 2004
Etta James | 2004
Etta James performs at the 26th annual Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl in June 2004. James is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has a lifetime achievement award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.