22 Facts About Etta James

1. Etta James was a child prodigy, performing on Los Angeles gospel radio broadcasts by the age of five.

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2. Etta James has performed for black audiences in the South, blues fans in the North, rock fans on both coasts and even opened tours for The Rolling Stones.

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3. Etta James went for seven years without a recording contract, then in 1988 she released Seven-Year Itch with Island.

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4. Etta James turned to music for refuge, and when she was fourteen she formed the Creolettes with two other girls.

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5. Etta James visited her mother, whom she addressed using her first name, when Dorothy Hawkins showed up every month or so.

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6. Etta James was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.

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7. Etta James continued recording, and anything was fair game for interpretation as shown on 2001's Matriarch of the Blues.

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8. In 1988 Etta James made The Seven Year Itch for Island Records; aptly titled, it marked her first record contract in seven years.

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9. Etta James was in love with Fuqua, but he did not return her affection.

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10. Etta James began an association with Chicago's Chess Records in the late 1950s, recording several numbers on Chess's subsidiary label, Argo.

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11. Etta James was raised in the church and sang gospel hymns in the St Paul Baptist Church choir.

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12. Etta James was born in 1938 as Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles, California.

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13. Etta James died at her home in Riverside, California, on January 20, 2012.

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14. Etta James released her latest studio album, The Dreamer, in November 2011, which received warm reviews.

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15. Etta James was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1993, prior to her signing a new recording contract with Private Records.

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16. In 1967, Etta James recorded with the Muscle Shoals house band in the Fame studios, and the collaboration resulted in the triumphant Tell Mama album.

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17. Etta James was hospitalized in January 2010 to treat an infection caused by MRSA, a bacterium resistant to many antibiotics.

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18. In November 2011, Etta James released her final album, The Dreamer, which was critically acclaimed upon its release.

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19. Etta James signed with Private Music Records in 1993 and recorded a Billie Holiday tribute album, Mystery Lady: Songs of Billie Holiday.

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20. Etta James participated with the rap singer Def Jef on the song "Droppin' Rhymes on Drums", which mixed James's jazz vocals with hip-hop.

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21. Etta James gave the singer her stage name, transposing Jamesetta into Etta James.

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22. Etta James received her first professional vocal training at the age of five from James Earle Hines, musical director of the Echoes of Eden choir at the St Paul Baptist Church, in South-Central Los Angeles.

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