Singer Etta James Has Died

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Felix Contreras on Etta James

Etta James in 2008.

Etta James in 2008. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

NPR confirms, and CNN reports that:

"Etta James, whose assertive, earthy voice lit up such hits as The Wallflower, Something's Got a Hold on Me, and the wedding favorite At Last, has died, according to her longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon. She was 73 and had been diagnosed with leukemia in 2010."

NBC Southern California is reporting the news as well.

As NPR's Felix Contreras tells the Newscast desk, James "got her first exposure to singing in the church, but soon after moved on to the blues."

Update at 11:53 a.m. ET. "Remembering Etta James, Stunning Singer":

NPR's Neda Ulaby reports about the "Matriarch of the Blues" and James' life. A star in the early '60s, James saw her career go into decline later that decade because of drug abuse. A stint in rehab and a tour with the Rolling Stones in the late '70s put her career back on track. "By the '90s," Neda reports, "she'd reached a new generation of fans and won a Grammy. The next challenge was jazz."



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