Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Conversations: Ms. Hawkins Flies Away

The legendary, Etta James, born Jamesetta Hawkins, January 25, 1938, took her final flight from a life of trials, tribulations, and triumphs, on Friday, January 20, 2012.

Most recently, Etta James was renownd for her song, At Last, which resurged in popularity after the election of U.S. President Barak Obama. In her own style, Ms. James publicly ridiculed President Obama for not inviting her to sing her own song at the Presidential Inaugural Ball in 2008; and Beyonce Knowels for disrespecting her by agreeing to sing it.

Etta James's voice ranged from doo-wop and swing, to her melancholy love songs and gospel music, and everything in between.When Etta James sang, it wasn't something you just listened to, it was an experience. There was deep passion and emotion embedded into every performance. It wasn't something that had to be forced or practiced, it was pure, raw talent. She was an artist with the free will offering of pieces of her soul to the world; which she gave often.

Today, Etta's talent lives on in remakes of her songs by such artists as: Adele (Fool Such as I), Jewel (Summertime), Beyonce (At Last), and many more. Even the late Amy Whinehouse (Someone to Watch Over Me) and Mama Cass Elliot - Mamas and the Pappas (Dream a Little Dream of Me) had a remake of an Etta James song, but, there was, and is, only one Etta James, the original.

Etta James often interchanged the roles of butterfly and phoenix. She had times when her world was filled with love and laughter, and times when her world was on fire; but she never failed to rise from the ashes.

Friday, January 20, 2012, Etta James flew away to a home on God's celestial shores. But her legend will live on in the recordings of her gifts to the world.