Soul diva Etta James passes away aged 73

Friday January 20, 2012

Singing legend Etta James has passed away at the age of 73.

The At Last singer, pictured with Beyonce Knowles – who portayed her in Cadillac Records – had been battling leukaemia.

Etta's manager Lupe De Leon confirmed the sad news, saying: "This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world."

"She was a true original who could sing it all – her music defied category.

"I worked with Etta for over 30 years. She was my friend and I will miss her always."

Four-time Grammy winner Etta began singing in church in LA, where she was born and raised.

She was discovered in 1954 by legendary bluesman Johnny Otis, and wracked up a series of hits including I'd Rather Go Blind and Call My Name.

The diva battled heroin addiction during her career, finally overcoming her demons in 1988 with help from the Betty Ford clinic.

She is survived by her husband Artis Mills and their two children Donto and Sametto.

Photo: © Getty Images

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