Legendary R&B goddess, Etta James, passed away today.
According to our friends at Wikipedia, she bridged the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll, and garnered six Grammys and 17 Blues Music Awards. She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in both 1999 and 2008. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Etta number 22 on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and number 62 on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists. She endured a strange childhood and kicked multiple drug addictions and all the while her music career took the roller coaster route. But she will always be remembered as a survivor. The name of her 1995 autobiography? A Rage to Survive.
Whenever I think of Etta and her life (and all that she survived to reach the grand age of 73), I am always reminded of Janis Joplin who left us way too early.
And here’s something totally incredible — Janis would have had a huge 69th birthday party yesterday if she had survived the fame and notoriety of being Janis.
Mother Goose was just a twelve year old tator tot when Janis left us in 1970, just a few days after Jimi reached out and touched the sky and then just left the planet for better places, sunnier places.
And now Etta’s gone too, and no doubt she’s taken her voice with her.
God rest your soul, Etta. You’ll always be a blessing.