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Singer Etta James hospitalized with a serious infection [Updated]

Etta james Singer Etta James is in a hospital in Riverside, battling sepsis caused by a urinary tract infection. Donto James, one of the 72-year-old's two sons, also told KTLA that his mother had entered a treatment program about a month ago to shake a dependence on painkillers.

[Updated at 2:20 p.m.: Donto James tells CNN that Etta is also suffering from Alzheimer's disease, and "right now she is very confused." She was diagnosed last year, he says.]

The music legend's tunes turn up frequently as audition pieces among the "American Idol" generation -- including earlier this week when leukemia survivor Christian Spear pleased the judges with her rendition of"All I Could Do Was Cry."

James popped up on the gossip scene early last year when, during a concert in Seattle, she threw out a few choice comments about Beyonce's performance of Etta's song "At Last" for Barack and Michelle Obama during his inauguration.

She later said that she was going for a laugh while introducing "At Last" and was "feeling left out of something that was basically mine, that I had done every time you look around."

"Dancing With the Stars" invited her in April to perform her signature tune for its audience. 

James has struggled in the past with drugs, including an addition to heroin that led to a stint in rehab in 1974. She also had gastric bypass surgery in 2003 and lost 200 pounds.

Best wishes for a quick and complete recovery. Check out a performance of "I'd Rather Go Blind" with Dr. John, embedded below.

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Etta James performs at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival last spring. Credit: Rick Diamond / Getty Images.



At the Ministry, we worry, you know -- click here and scroll down to read more about celebs who are under the weather.

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