Etta James Dies At 73

January 20, 2012 |  by  |  Breaking News, Entertainment
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Legendary singer Etta James passed away this morning due to complications from leukemia. She was already battling dementia, Hepatitis C and kidney issues when she was admitted to the hospital last month for the final stages of the disease. Her manager confirmed the news this morning and her son describes his mother’s last moments after the jump.

Manager and longtime friend, Lupe De Leon, made the announcement this morning, saying “This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world.” He continued:

She was a true original who could sing it all – her music defied category. I worked with Etta for over 30 years. She was my friend and I will miss her always.

Etta James’ son, Donto James told People he’s happy he and his brother, Sametto, got to hold her in their arms and say goodbye.

“It’s been quite a day, but I’m very grateful,” he said. “She basically passed in my arms, and I was able to share everything I needed to say to her, from praying to listing her accomplishments as a mother.”

Though his mother couldn’t speak, Donto said his mother seemed to understand what he was telling her.

“I asked her if she heard what I said, and she’d flutter her eyes and look at me very quickly. And she had been nonreactive before that,” he said.

Donto adds that he’d long dreaded seeing his mother pass, but he now believes “it was a true gift to be with her when it happened. I wouldn’t want it any other way than for her to go in our arms.”

I told her that I loved her. I said, ‘You were a wonderful mother, you did a wonderful job, your seven grandchildren love you, and they will be okay.’

Photo credit: via


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