Etta James Biography
She recently said, "Beyonce had no business singing my song," so read more about her ups, downs and talent in this Etta James biography. Etta James's phenomenal voice is mostly celebrated for bringing tears to the eyes of many who have heard her rendition of "At Last." She is also known for saying she is the illegitimate child of legendary pool player Minnesota Fats. Suggestive stage presence on top of sassy attitude, here is the biography of singing sensation Jamesetta Hawkins, aka Etta James.
- Etta James was a gospel prodigy-turned-band singer. As early as she can remember, James was singing in church and by the age of five she was singing over the radio. James headed north to the San Francisco Bay Area when she was twelve and put together a trio of singers. Before long she was doing gigs with bandleader Johnny Otis. James made a U-turned back to Los Angeles in 1954 to record "The Wallflower" with her trio. She then flipped her name and became Etta James.
- James outgrows Johnny Otis and her Peaches to become a solo act. By 1955 Etta James had a hit named "Good Rockin' Daddy" and in 1960 she signed with Chicago's Chess Records. Her career took off and every song she dropped was a chart-topping smash hit. Together, she and lover Harvey Fuqua had a successful duet record, buut James's roots were in gospel,and she knew she was the best of the best female gospel singers on earth at the time, so in 1962 she took her music back to the beginning and her fans ate it up.
- Heroin addition knocks James to her knees and almost destroys her career and life. It was the late 1960s and heroin was the crack cocaine of those days; it was a demon in almost every major city. James's success in music continued, as did her battle with heroin. In 1973 she earned a Grammy nomination for her 1973 album "Etta James." In 1977 James left Chess Records for Warner Brothers Records and in 1993 she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- The soul singer defeats her addiction to remain a force to be reckoned with. Anybody can get knocked down, but only a true fighter gets back up to fight again and that's what Etta James did in the '90s. Her release of "Blue Gardenia" rose to the top of the Billboard jazz chart. James became obese over the years and had to have gastric bypass surgery to shed more than 200 pounds. Now, with the ability to take her voice through many octaves, James continues to drop albums even as you are reading this biography. Yes, Etta James is in your face and she is still one of the most explosive singers in the game today at 73 years young.
- To see a small portion of Etta James' life, check out the 2008 movie "Cadillac Records." Etta James said in public that she was in support of the film, which starred Beyonce Knowles as Etta, but James had "beef" against Beyonce when she sang "At Last" at Barack Obama's inaugural ball in January 2009. "Cadillac Records" is the story of the successful and turbulent years of Chess Records, its owner and artists.