US soul legend Etta James in hospital

December 24, 2011 6:42 am
James, 73, is battling cancer /AFP

, LOS ANGELES, December 23 – Grammy-winning blues and soul legend Etta James, famous for her hit “At Last,” was taken to a California hospital on Friday for complications related to leukemia, her publicist told AFP.

“Etta James was taken to the hospital night before last (December 21). She was having trouble breathing so they intubated her. Her condition remains the same,” said her publicist Lupe De Leon.

Last week, De Leon said that James, 73, was in the end stage of her cancer and would not undergo further treatment.

Dr. Elaine James told The Press-Enterprise newspaper, which covers the singer’s hometown of Riverside, California, last week: “I am southern and Christian and would just ask for the prayers of her fans and friends.

“They know she’s been sick, but not how sick,” the physician, who is no relation to the singer, added.

James, born Jamesetta Hawkins, has won four Grammys and 17 Blues Music Awards. She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2003.

She is also known for her soulful rendition of such songs as “I’d Rather Go Blind” and “All I Could Do Was Cry.”

“At Last” was sung by R&B diva Beyonce when she serenaded new US President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama for their first dance on inauguration night in January 2009.

Written in 1941 by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren, “At Last” first became a hit for Glenn Miller and his orchestra and was covered by Nat King Cole before being adopted by James in 1960.


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