Etta James has died at the age of 73.
The legendary singer passed away in a hospital in Riverside, California after being diagnosed with leukaemia in 2010, according to her longtime friend and manager Lupe DeLeon.
James was with her husband Artis Mills and her sons when she died from complications with leukaemia, and would have turned 74 on Wednesday (January 25).
DeLeon said in a statement, “This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world.”
“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.”
James first appeared on the music scene in 1955, but didn’t release her debut album – titled At Last! – until 1961.
The star opened concerts for The Rolling Stones, won six Grammy Awards and was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame back in 1993.
Etta James’s hits have experienced a renewed popularity following Beyoncé’s portrayal of her in 2008 film Cadillac Records.
Beyoncé then went on to sing James’s famous hit ‘At Last’ during one of President Barack Obama’s 2009 inaugural balls.
At the time, James joked: “I can’t stand Beyoncé. She had no business up there singing my song that I’ve been singing forever.”
Photos by WENN