Etta James: Fans, musicians remember singer as 'one of a kind'
Within 90 minutes of the death of legendary singer Etta James, more than 1,500 people had left messages on her Facebook pages and Twitter was flooded with remembrances –- sometimes no more than the title of a favorite song.
“One of the greatest voices of all time. Thanks for the many romantic moments your music created,” one fan tweeted.
“So grateful for our beloved Etta James who opened our hearts,” tweeted another.
James died Friday from complications from her long-running battle with leukemia, her personal physician said.
James had been rushed to Parkview Community Hospital on Thursday night and died Friday morning, said Dr. Elaine James, no relation. Her two sons and husband were with her.
"We're all very sad," the doctor said. "To know her, to know her past, I feel very blessed to have been able to take care of her."
Her longtime manager, Lupe De Leon, amplified those thoughts in an interview with CNN.
"This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world," De Leon said. "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,” De Leon said.
Twitter accounts of a wide range of musicians lighted up with tributes to the singer.
The Roots’ Questlove wrote: “rip tp Etta James. i will hold the torch high for The Roots name in your honor.”
And Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx tweeted: “RIP Etta James. Your music soothed and ignited passion in so many of us.”
The 73-year-old performer, best known for hits such as "At Last" and "Tell Mama," had been suffering end-stage leukemia and dementia for months.
-- Alan Zarembo
Photo: Etta James at the Playboy Jazz Festival in June 1990. Credit: Los Angeles Times