The inevitable happened yesterday and Etta James has now passed away. Even though we knew about her rapidly deteriorating health it was coming it still sucks, but at least she’s done with her struggle now. From her obituary in The Guardian:
Her approach to both singing and life was throughout one of wild, often desperate engagement that included violence, drug addiction, armed robbery and highly capricious behaviour. James sang with unmatched emotional hunger and a pain that can chill the listener. The ferocity of her voice documents a neglected child, a woman constantly entering into bad relationships and an artist raging against an industry and a society that had routinely discriminated against her.
Let’s rejoice in the fact she left behind a fantastic body of work, a small portion of which was included in our tributary piece “Thank You, Etta: 5 Awesome Etta James Samples” a couple of weeks ago, back when news of her chronic health issues spread. Up top is one of my personal favorites of hers, an awesomely powerful bluesy cover of Randy Newman’s ‘God’s Song (That’s Why I Love Mankind).’ A great example of raw emotion put into song. Thank you Etta.