Tributes to the late Etta James have been pouring in since her sad passing last week, aged 73. Beyonce portrayed the 'At Last' singer in the 2008 film Cadillac Records and the pair appeared on the red-carpet together for the movie's premiere. She has been speaking on her official website about the huge contribution James made to music history.
The R&B superstar, who recently welcomed her first child Blue Ivy Carter, said, "This is a huge loss. Etta James was one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I am so fortunate to have met such a queen. Her musical contributions will last a lifetime.Playing Etta James taught me so much about myself, and singing her music inspired me to be a stronger artist". Though the respect was clearly reciprocal with Etta praising Beyonce's portrayal of her in Cadillac Records, the soul legend caused controversy in 2009 by criticizing Beyonce's performance of 'At Last' for President Obama. According to the UK's Guardian newspaper, Etta told her audience at Seattle's Paramount Theatre, "You guys know your president, right? You know the one with the big ears? Wait a minute, he ain't my president. He might be yours; he ain't my president. But I tell you that woman he had singing for him, singing my song - she's going to get her ass whupped". Nevertheless, Beyonce continued to cite James as key influence on her career and in her blog tribute this week, said, "When she effortlessly opened her mouth, you could hear her pain and triumph. Her deeply emotional way of delivering a song told her story with no filter. She was fearless, and had guts. She will be missed".
Etta James passed away last week after a long battle with leukaemia. At the time of her death, she was surrounded by her husband Artis and her sons, according to manager Lupe De Leon.