In a bit of welcome good news for fans of soul legend Etta James, the Grammy winner was taken off respiratory assistance this week, though she still remains hospitalised in California, reports the Associated Foreign Press.
James, 73, is suffering from leukaemia and was hospitalized at a Riverside hospital a week ago. Doctors estimate she could remain in the facility for several more days. Speaking on Friday (December 30, 2011), her agent Lupe de Leon explained, "Ms James has been taken off the respirator and is now breathing on her own. Her blood pressure is normal.We are all happy with this news.She could be back home next week, but we are not sure". De Leon had previously confirmed that the singer was also battling dementia and Hepatitis C as well as leukaemia. Born Jamesetta Hawkins, Etta James has won four Grammys and 17 Blues Music Awards - she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and was awarded a long-overdue Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2003. Her renditions of I'd Rather Go Blind and All I Could Do Was Cry are amongst the greatest soul songs ever recorded.
She enjoyed a recent resurgence after At Last was used in numerous high profile commercials. R&B diva Beyonce also sang the track during President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama's first dance on inauguration night in January 2009.