Etta James was born on January 25, 1938; she passed away earlier this year, on January 20, 2012. Upon her death, her husband and sons were at odds over her estate, as is featured on tonight’s episode of The Will: Family Secrets Revealed.
According to Investigation Discovery:
January 2012. Singer Etta James is on her deathbed. Her family battles over control of her end-of-life decisions-and her fortune. Her husband fights to keep her at home. Her sons fear their stepfather is playing fast and loose with their mother's money.
Etta James: A Life-Long Talent
James, according to Biography.com, was a gospel prodigy, before she moved to Los Angeles to record The Wallflower in 1954. As her career began to really take off in 1960, she started having problems with drugs, specifically heroin. But, that did not diminish her talent, as she earned a Grammy nomination in 1973 for her self-titled album, and has long since been considered “one of the most dynamic singers in music.”
One of her most notorious conflicts came in 2009, when she reportedly lashed out at singer Beyoncè. The younger star had portrayed James in the film, Cadillac Records, in 2008; she also recorded an updated version of James’ signature song, “At Last” for the movie’s soundtrack. However, James was reportedly not happy when Beyoncè sang the song at Barack Obama’s 2009 inaugural ball, and James allegedly told concert-goers in Seattle, Biography.com indicated, that Beyoncè “had no business … singing my song that I have been singing forever.”
Health issues caught up with James in her 70s. She was hospitalized in 2010 for a blood infection, and it was later revealed that not only was she suffering from dementia, but she was also being treated for leukemia. In 2011, after receiving warm reviews for her final studio album, The Dreamer, it was announced that James was in the last stages of leukemia, and had also been diagnosed with Hepatitis C.
Stay tuned for tonight’s episode of The Will: Family Secrets Revealed, featuring Etta James, on Investigation Discovery at 9:00 p.m.
Image: Wikimedia Commons