Etta James – I’d Rather Go Blind
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Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins; January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012) was an American singer-songwriter. Her style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, jazz and gospel.
Starting her career in 1954, she gained fame with hits such as “The Wallflower”, “At Last”, “Tell Mama”, “Something’s Got a Hold on Me”, and “I’d Rather Go Blind” for which she wrote the lyrics. She faced a number of personal problems, including drug addiction, before making a musical resurgence in the late 1980s with the album Seven Year Itch.
James is regarded as having bridged the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll, and is the winner of six Grammys and 17 Blues Music Awards.
She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in both 1999 and 2008. Rolling Stone ranked James number 22 on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and number 62 on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists.
Style and influence
James possessed the vocal range of a contralto. James’s musical style changed during the course of her career. When beginning her recording career in the mid-50s, James was marketed as an R&B and doo-wop singer.
After signing with Chess Records in 1960, James broke through as a traditional pop-styled singer, covering jazz and pop music standards on her debut album, At Last!. James’s voice deepened and coarsened, moving her musical style in her later years into the genres of soul and jazz.
Etta James had once been considered one of the most overlooked blues and R&B musicians in Music history of the United States. It was not until the early 1990s, when James began receiving major industry awards from the Grammys and the Blues Foundation, that she began to receive wide recognition.
In recent years, James was seen as bridging the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll. James has influenced a wide variety of musicians including Diana Ross, Christina Aguilera, Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, Shemekia Copeland, and Hayley Williams of Paramore as well as British artists The Rolling Stones,Rod Stewart, Elkie Brooks, Amy Winehouse, Paloma Faith, Joss Stone and Adele, and also Belgian singer Dani Klein plus New Zealand singer Lorde.
Her song, “Something’s Got a Hold on Me”, has been recognized in many ways. Brussels music act Vaya Con Dios covered the song on their 1990 album Night Owls.
Another version, performed by Christina Aguilera, was in the 2010 film, Burlesque. Pretty Lights sampled the song in “Finally Moving”, followed by Avicii’s dance hit, “Levels”, and again in Flo Rida’s single, “Good Feeling”.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia