Hundreds gathered at a Los Angeles church Saturday, paying final respects to late singer Etta James. Among them, Stevie Wonder and Christina Aguilera. Paying tribute in song Saturday, they joined Reverend Al Sharpton, who officiated the funeral.
James died Friday, January 13 after battling leukemia and other health problems, she was 73.
Performing with the church choir, Wonder was first to pay tribute to the late “Something’s Got A Hold On Me” singer, followed by a series of video and pictorial montages. Letters from President Barack Obama and Bill Cosby, recognizing James, were also read.
Aguilera followed later in the funeral, performing an emotional tribute and James’ signature hit “At Last”.
- Watch video via link to the left.
Speaking of James briefly, Aguilera said “she was the one that spoke to me.”
“It’s very emotional for me to sing this today, as it has meant so much to me. There’s a line in this song that says I found a dream that I could speak to. For me that dream, all my life, has been Etta James,” said Aguilera. “Out of all the singers I have ever heard, she was the one that spoke to me. Etta, this song is for you.”
CNN, with permission from the family, streamed the funeral Saturday.
In addition to multiple Grammy wins, James was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1993). Beyonce later portrayed her in the film ‘Cadillac Records’.
An outpouring of tributes and kind words were shared following James death last week. See links to those tributes below.
James’ discography not only included Jazz but Soul, R&B, Gospel and Rock.