Track

Etta James

Born: January 25, 1938 | Died: January 20, 2012    Primary Instrument: Vocalist

Etta James

Etta James began her long career as a singer early, singing doo-wop as a teenager in the 1950s. She has enjoyed equal success crooning blues ballads, belting out rhythm and blues and rock and roll, or interpreting jazz. While the ease with which she can navigate these various styles demonstrates her impressive skill, it has also served to confound the music industry as to how to categorize her. In the late 20th century and into the next, James has finally been widely acknowledged as one of the most talented singers of her era.

James was born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles, California, on January 25, 1938. Dorothy, her mother, was just fourteen years old when she gave birth to James, and she never overtly named the father. James's care was left largely to relatives and friends, including a middle-aged couple by the name of Rogers. James and her foster mother, Lula “Mama Lu” Rogers, became particularly close. By the age of five, James was living with her grandparents in Los Angeles. It was at this time, while singing solos with the St. Paul Baptist Church's Echoes of Eden choir under the direction of musical director James Earle Hines that she began to get attention for her powerful voice. Soon she began performing gospel on a local radio broadcast....
read more

comments powered by Disqus
Rank: 478 Views: 15,443 Fans: 4
Featured recording “Mystery Lady: Songs of Billie...”

Mystery Lady: Songs of Billie...
Private Music (1994)

Weekly Giveaways

Ed Palermo

Ed Palermo
About | Enter

Matthew Shipp

Matthew Shipp
About | Enter

Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley
About | Enter

Tord Gustavsen

Tord Gustavsen
About | Enter

An innovative and rich resource For Jazz Musicians

The All About Jazz musician database grows daily
with the help of musicians, supportive professionals and advocates.

Musician? Plug in and promote yourself today.

Learn how