Before the notion of a diva ever existed there was Etta James.
And today, after 60 years of enriching the lives of all who have ever heard her magnificent voice, she died. So few people in the history of the world leave a lasting impact. Even fewer can claim to have changed the soul of a nation.
James was one of those who could rightfully say that the United States of America’s soul was changed because of her.
One of the last, great voices in recorded music history, Etta James stood with such greats as Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone and a few others.
Her life was a dazzlingly tumultuous. Filled with tragedy from day one, James was born without a father, raised in orphanages, became a star, fell to addiction and resurrected herself numerous times.
Few people can claim to be truly gifted, let alone interesting. No matter her antics (actually, because of her antics) James leaves behind a story like no other.
And a voice that reaches down to the very core of any and all who hear it.
And that is something that only a god could create.