Los Angeles, California, USA
Early R&B, Soul-Blues, R&B
Earthy, Passionate, Gutsy, Earnest, Intimate, Boisterous, Romantic, Melancholy, Exuberant, Laid-Back/Mellow, Sensual, Rowdy, Joyous, Rollicking, Sentimental, Raucous, Summery, Reverent
Brown - Dark
Has Detailed Data (New)
Profile Bio Text
Jamesetta Hawkins was born in Los Angeles, California to an unmarried 14-year-old African-American mother, Dorothy Hawkins. She claimed that her mother told her that her father was pool player Rudolph "Minnesota Fats" Wanderone, who was Caucasian, and that they received financial support from him on the condition that they keep his paternity a secret. James was born in Los Angeles in 1938, at a time when Wanderone was known to be managing a pool hall in Washington, D.C.
She received her first professional vocal training at the age of five years old, from James Earle Hines, musical director of the Echoes of Eden choir at St. Paul Baptist Church in Los Angeles.
James` family moved to San Francisco in 1950 and James soon teamed up with two other girls to form a Doo-wop singing group. When the girls were fourteen, band leader Johnny Otis had them audition: they sang an answer to Hank Ballard`s "Work With Me, Annie" called "Roll With Me Henry." Otis particularly liked the song, and against her mother`s wishes, James and the trio went to Los Angeles to record the song in 1954. The song was recorded under the label Modern Records. By this time, the trio renamed the song "The Wallflower (Dance with Me, Henry)" and released it in 1955. James named her vocal group The Peaches. Richard Berry, a Los Angeles Doo Wop luminary is featured on some of their records.
In 1969 James married Artis Mills and they had two sons Donto and Sametto James. Her granddaughter Karissia was born in 1995, the daughter of Donto.
There are at least two versions of how Johnny Otis discovered Etta James. Otis`s version is that she came to his hotel room after one of his performances in San Francisco and persuaded him to audition her (this is the version that Johnny tells to this day). Another frequently told story is that Otis spotted her performing in an L.A. nightclub with The Peaches and, having conceived of the answer song to Hank Ballard`s "Work With Me, Annie," arranged with the Bihari brothers for Modern Records to record "The Wallflower" with James. "The Wallflower" reached number two on the rhythm and blues charts in February 1955 but was undercut in the wider market by a rushed-out cover version by Georgia Gibbs on Mercury Records.In fact, the very first time she was recorded in studio, they used the first take she recorded and it became number one on the top 100 songs in the nation. The song`s royalties were divided between Hank Ballard, Etta James and Johnny Otis, and its huge success attracted the attention of the R&B world, resulting in James going on tour with Little Richard. On the tour, according to James, she witnessed and experienced situations to which minors are not usually privy, and she allegedly acquired a drug habit. Today Etta has a troublesome personality which may have resulted from her past habits.
Into the 1990s, she continued to record and perform. Her albums widely varied in styles and genres of music. Her 1992 album The Right Time was another Soul album that was produced by Elektra Records. The album was upbeat as well. She began to record more Jazz music as well, which became the subject for many of her 1990s albums. In 1998 she released a Christmas album called An Etta James Christmas.
To a younger generation, Etta is known for the Muddy Waters song "I Just Wanna Make Love to You", used in television commercials for Coca-Cola and for John Smith`s bitter (beer). The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry and Foghat have also recorded the song. Etta`s version was a surprise Top 10 UK hit in 1996. . Later in life, James struggled with obesity. She reached more than 400 pounds, experienced mobility and knee problems, and often needed a wheelchair. In 2003, James underwent gastric bypass surgery and lost over 200 pounds  On May 6, 2003, James released a blues rock album of new material, Let`s Roll.
James was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.. She was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001. Her pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. In 2003 she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked her #62 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time .
James won three Grammys: best jazz vocal performance (for Mystery Lady in 1994), Best Contemporary Blues album (for Let`s Roll in 2003) and Best Traditional Blues album (for Blues to the Bone in 2004) . A new album was also released in 2006 called All the Way, which was released by RCA Records.
Etta James performs at the top world jazz festivals in the world, such as the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1977, 1989, 1990, and 1993, performed nine times at the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival, and the San Francisco Jazz Festival five times. She also performs often at free city outdoor summer arts festivals througho
Couple Profile Source
Full Name at Birth
Has Detailed Data (Music)
Cause of Death
Complications of Leukemia
Place of Death
Riverside, California, USA
Claim to Fame
Her Single "At Last"
Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins; January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012) was an American singer who performed in various genres, including blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, jazz and gospel. Starting her career in 1954, she gained fame with hits such as "The Wallflower", "At Last", "Tell Mama", "Something's Got a Hold on Me", and "I'd Rather Go Blind". She faced a number of personal problems, including heroin addiction, severe physical abuse, and incarceration, before making a musical comeback in the late 1980s with the album Seven Year Itch.
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Music Profile Complete
Blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, jazz, gospel
Modern, Chess/MCA Records, Argo, Crown, Cadet, Island/PolyGram Records, Private Music/RCA, RCA Victor Records, Elektra, Virgin/EMI Records, Verve Forecast/Universal Records
Harvey Fuqua, Johnny Otis, Sugar Pie DeSanto
Chess, MCA, Island, PolyGram, Private, RCA, RCA Victor, Virgin, EMI, Verve Forecast, Universal
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