Etta James

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Etta James | Jeff Christensen/Associated Press | tc043

Jamesetta Hawkins (Etta James) was born on January 25, 1938 and died on January 20, 2012 after a long illness. She leaves behind a huge catalogue of recordings for Modern, Chess and other labels but it is the Chess recordings which capture her at the peak of her career and talents. Her first recordings were made in 1954 when she was sixteen years old but she was already an old trouper, having joined a group called the Creolettes two years earlier!

Etta received many accolades. She won six Grammys and 17 Blues Music Awards, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in both 1999 and 2008.

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