Etta James, the singer portrayed by Beyoncé in the film Cadillac Records, and whose song, "At Last," she sang at President Barack Obama's Inauguration Ball, is terminally ill, according to her doctors at a Riverside, California hospital.
Born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles in 1938, the singer formed her first doo wop group at the age of 14. By 22, she signed to Chess Records and had her first top 10 hit the same year with "All I Could Do Is Cry." The following year she had her most notable hit, "At Last," which only reached the top 50 on the pop charts but reached number 2 on the R&B charts. Though James battled a heroine addiction for many years, she performed consistently and successfully for over four decades. She was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2003.
The 73-year-old has been dealing with chronic leukemia for years, but now James's doctor is asking for prayers, saying that her leukemia has been diagnosed incurable. And according to court documents she has also been suffering from dementia and kidney failure. Her $1 million estate is currently in probate as her son Donto James fights for a conservator other than James's husband of 42 years, Artis Mills.
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