Etta James

With a music career that spanned more than 50 years, Etta James endured many obstacles throughout her life, from growing up in a single parent household to numerous run-ins with the law, as well as a decades-long battle ... Read more »
Born: 01/25/1938 in Los Angeles, California, USA

Filmography

Music (42)

Sex Tape 2014 (Movie)

("You Can Leave Your Hat On") (Song Performer)

The Other Woman 2014 (Movie)

("A Sunday Kind Of Love") (Song Performer)

Byzantium 2013 (Movie)

("Don't Cry Baby") (Song Performer)

Unfinished Song 2013 (Movie)

("Something's Got A Hold On Me") (Song)

Unfinished Song 2013 (Movie)

("Something's Got A Hold On Me") (Song Performer)

Beautiful Darling 2011 (Movie)

(Music)

Burlesque 2010 (Movie)

("Tough Lover") (Song Performer)

Burlesque 2010 (Movie)

"Something's Got A Hold On Me" (Song)

A Single Man 2009 (Movie)

("Stormy Weather") (Song Performer)

My Best Friend's Girl 2008 (Movie)

("At Last") (Song Performer)

Perfect Stranger 2007 (Movie)

"Don't Cry Baby" (Song Performer)

Inland Empire 2006 (Movie)

("At Last") (Song Performer)

Mission: Impossible III 2006 (Movie)

("A Sunday Kind of Love") (Song Performer)

Little Manhattan 2005 (Movie)

("At Last") (Song Performer)

Monster-in-Law 2005 (Movie)

("Tell Mama") (Song Performer)

The Blues 2003 (Tv Show)

Song Performer

Angel Eyes 2001 (Movie)

("Only Time Will Tell") (Song Performer)

See Spot Run 2001 (Movie)

("At Last") (Song Performer)

Reindeer Games 2000 (Movie)

("At Last") (Song Performer)

American Pie 1999 (Movie)

("At Last") (Song Performer)

This Year's Love 1999 (Movie)

("Stop the Wedding") (Song Performer)

Kissing A Fool 1998 (Movie)

("At Last") (Song Performer)

Living Out Loud 1998 (Movie)

("At Last") (Song Performer)

Mafia! 1998 (Movie)

("Something's Got a Hold on Me") (Song Performer)

Mafia! 1998 (Movie)

(Song)

Pleasantville 1998 (Movie)

("At Last") (Song Performer)

Eve's Bayou 1997 (Movie)

("Sunday Kind of Love") (Song Performer)

Sister Act 1992 (Movie)

("Roll With Me Henry") (Song Performer)

Sister Act 1992 (Movie)

(Song)

Only the Lonely 1991 (Movie)

("I've Got Dreams to Remember") (Song Performer)

Bad Influence 1990 (Movie)

song producer("Out of the Rain") (Song)

Bad Influence 1990 (Movie)

(Song Performer)

The Best of Cinemax Sessions 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Song Performer

Rooftops 1989 (Movie)

(Song)

Rooftops 1989 (Movie)

("Avenue D") (Song Performer)

The Delinquents 1989 (Movie)

("Roll With Me Henry") (Song)

Rain Man 1988 (Movie)

("At Last") (Song Performer)

Diana Ross... Red Hot Rhythm & Blues 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Song Performer

Back to the Future 1985 (Movie)

("The Wallflower (Dance With Me Henry)") (Song Performer)

Back to the Future 1985 (Movie)

("The Wallflower (Dance With Me Henry)") (Song)

Heartbreakers 1984 (Movie)

("The Blues Don't Care" "You Want More") (Song Performer)

Heartbreakers 1984 (Movie)

songs("The Blues Don't Care" "You Want More") (Song)
Actor (12)

Sessions at West 54th 1997 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Record Row: Cradle of Rhythm and Blues 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Narrator

A Century of Women 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Newport Jazz '91 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

A Blues Session: B.B. King & Friends 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Diana Ross... Red Hot Rhythm & Blues 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll! 1987 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

The 29th Annual Grammy Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The Beyond War Spacebridge 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Murder in Mississippi (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

With a music career that spanned more than 50 years, Etta James endured many obstacles throughout her life, from growing up in a single parent household to numerous run-ins with the law, as well as a decades-long battle with drug addiction. Yet the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was always remembered for her 1961 song "At Last." The smoldering ballad put James on the map, not only as a torch singer capable of crossing over musical styles - whether it was rhythm & blues, pop, Gospel, or jazz - but it also turned her into an artist whose influence in the music industry transcended any genre. Often credited for bridging the gap between R&B and rock and roll, James' sheer talent, remarkable will to survive, and her definitive song were all testaments to her lasting legacy as one of her era's most revered vocalists.

Relationships

Sametto

Son
Began performing with James in 2003; played bass guitar

Donto James

Son
Began performing with James in 2003; played drums

Artis Mills

Husband
Married in 1969

Milestones

2008

Portrayed by Beyoncé Knowles in the film "Cadillac Records"

2003

Received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

2003

Honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

1995

Co-authored her memoir Rage to Survive with David Ritz

1994

Won her first Grammy Award, for Best Jazz Vocal Performance for "Mystery Lady."

1993

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

1993

Released the tribute album dedicated to one of her musical heroes Mystery Lady: The Songs of Billie Holiday

1989

Played a blues singer in the drama feature "Tap"

1989

Made her comeback with the album Seven Year Itch, released by Island Records

1978

Opened tour dates in the U.S. for The Rolling Stones and also played at the Montreal Jazz Festival

1978

Feature film debut, "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band"; film starred Peter Frampton and The Bee Gees

1972

Career slowed down due to battling drug addiction; released minor hits in the 1970s, including "I Found Love"

1964

Released the bluesy-pop single "Baby What You Want Me to Do"

1962

Recorded the Gospel-inspired "Something’s Got a Hold on Me"

1961

Released debut album At Last!, a collection of her previously released tracks as well as cover versions of standards; album featured signature track "At Last," which landed at No. 2 on the R&B charts and reached No. 47 on the Billboard Hot 1

1960

After The Peaches disbanded, signed a contract with Chess Records as a solo artist

1960

Released first major solo hit, "All I Could Do Is Cry"

1959

Moved to Chicago and began recording for Argo, an imprint of Chess Records

1955

Released debut single by The Peaches, "The Wallflower"; song topped the Billboard R&B charts, but was later eclipsed by a mainstream version of the track recorded by white singer Georgia Gibbs

1954

Formed a doo-wop singing group with two female friends called The Peaches and auditioned for famed bandleader Johnny Otis; joined Otis on a trip to Los Angeles to record the track "The Wallflower (Dance With Me, Henry)" under the Modern Records label

1950

Family moved to San Francisco, CA

1942

Was a gospel music prodigy by the age of five

Bonus Trivia

.

James battled a heroin addiction around the mid-1960s and spent a considerable amount of time at a Los Angeles psychiatric hospital.

.

In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked James No. 62 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

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In 2009, Beyoncé Knowles serenaded First Couple Barack and Michelle Obama with "At Last" at the newly elected president’s inaugural gala. A few days after the highly publicized event, James publicly criticized Knowles and the President during a concert held in Seattle, WA. Entertainment-based Web site TMZ obtained a recording of James as she expressed her dislike of Knowles ("She has no business up there, singing my song that I’ve been singing forever") as well as the newly elected President ("He ain’t my President"). James later told The New York Daily News that she really did not mean anything by her rant and acknowledged her displeasure for the presidential snub.

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James’ health began deteriorating after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2009. In December 2011, the singer's live-in doctor declared that her chronic leukemia was incurable.

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