Beyonce portrayed James in the movie “Cadillac Records” in 2008 and would later sing James’ most popular song, “At Last” at President Obama’s Inaugural Ball in January 2009.
Beyonce released a statement on James’ death, calling her one of the “greatest vocalists of our time.” “I am so fortunate to have met such a queen,” she added.
The chart-topper calls Etta James one of her greatest influences. “My favorite singers are Etta James and Aretha Franklin,” she told Cosmopolitan Magazine in December 2011. “If you were to look up the word ‘singer’ in the dictionary, you’d see their names.” Adele honored James by singing her hit “Fool That I Am” in 2009.
Her booming voice and retro sound earned Winehouse comparisons to Etta James. The late singer often cited James as one of her biggest influences.
Celebs took to Twitter after hearing the terrible news of James’ passing. “Rest in peace Etta James. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family,” tweeted Chaka Khan.
“Rest in peace to one of the world’s most influential singers Etta James, you will be missed,” tweeted Mariah Carey.
“Our contributions to this earth are never erased…the spirit lives on… RIP Etta James,” tweeted Simmons.
“RIP Etta James! One of the best to ever do it! #OftenImitatedNeverDuplicated. I luv u 4ever!,” tweeted Simmons.
“We’ve lost another treasure…RIP ETTA JAMES,” tweeted ESSENCE February cover girl, Gabrielle Union.
“Etta James helped pioneer the heartbeat of a new generation w/ a musical style that allowed people 2 feel outside the box. She’ll be missed,” tweeted Hamilton.
“Etta James! Thank you for gracing us with your incredible talent & presence!” tweeted Rowland.
“DIVA Etta James has taken her place in that great choir up in heaven. SING DIVA and RIP,” tweeted Ralph.
“So grateful for our beloved Etta James who opened our hearts. Sending much luv 2 her family during this time,” tweeted Vanzant.
“Etta James #restinpeace…At last was and will remain ICONIC,” tweeted the actress.
“Showing respect appreciation and love for all the wonderful music and joy #ettajames brought to the world…#ettajamesforever,” tweeted Will.i.am.
“RIP Etta James prayers to the family & loved ones,” tweeted Tate.