Beyonce released a statement this afternoon paying tribute to the late songstress Etta James, calling her one of the “greatest vocalists of our time.”

She went on to say, “I am so fortunate to have met such a queen. Her musical contributions will last a lifetime. Playing Etta James taught me so much about myself, and singing her music inspired me to be a stronger artist. When she effortlessly opened her mouth, you could hear her pain triumph. Her deeply emotional way of delivering a song told her story with no filter. She was fearless, and had guts. She will be missed.”

Beyonce played James in the 2008 movie, “Cadillac Records.” She told MTV at that time, “I always loved her voice, but now knowing what she’s been through, she’s one of my heroes.”

The new mommy sang Etta James’ “At Last” for the historic first dance between Barack and Michelle Obama at the 2009 Inaugural Ball.

Artists and entertainers have flood Twitter with their heartfelt sympathies after learning of the terrible news. Leave your condolences below.


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