Etta James Tickets for Sale

Etta James is one of the great belters of the blues, carrying on the tradition of brassy, sexually liberated blues singers begun by Bessie Smith. Capable of hard-rockin' blues as well as sentimental balladry, James was the most successful woman to come out of the '50s and '60s blues scene.

Few R&B singers have endured tragic travails on the monumental level that Etta James has and remain on earth to talk about it. The lady's no shrinking violet; her autobiography, Rage to Survive, describes her past (including numerous drug addictions) in sordid detail.

Etta James (born January 25, 1938) is an American R&B and gospel singer. Born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles, California, she received her first professional vocal training at the age of 5, from James Earle Hines, musical director of the Echoes of Eden choir at St. Paul Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Her family moved to San Francisco, California in 1950, and in 1952 the trio (the Creolettes) she had formed with two of her friends came to the attention of Johnny Otis. Otis reversed the syllables of her first name to give her stage name and began recording her. Her first record, and her first R & B hit, was her own composition, "The Wallflower," an answer song to Hank Ballard's "Work with Me, Annie." She recorded it in 1954 with the Otis band and Richard Berry, who sang the second vocal. The song was later a hit in the white market for Georgia Gibbs, re-written as "Dance with Me, Henry." She briefly recorded as Etta James & the Peaches, releasing several hits before signing to Chess Records in 1960.
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James released several duets with Harvey Fuqua (of The Moonglows) that became major R&B hits, as well as her classic "At Last." However, her mainstream success was limited. In 1967, James recorded "Tell Mama" and "I'd Rather Go Blind", with "At Last" perhaps her most enduring songs, in Muscle Shoals. Her singing is characterized by accomplished vocal technique and strong jazz influences. She won the Grammy for best jazz vocal in 1994 for her CD Mystery Lady, a collection of songs associated with Billie Holliday, and in 2004 won the Grammy for best contemporary blues album with Let's Roll. In 2003 she received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

To a younger generation, Etta is known for the Muddy Waters song "I Just Wanna Make Love To You", used in television commercials for Coca-Cola and for John Smith's bitter. The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry and Foghat have also recorded the song but it is Etta's version that is best known.

Drug-related and romantic problems interfered with her career, but James managed to maintain a career throughout the latter half of the 20th century and was inducted into both the Rock and Roll and Blues Halls of Fame. In 2003 she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
James always admired Billie Holiday, but she nearly patterned her life along Lady Day's too neatly--her life in the '70s, lean years for anyone in the blues, consisted of a series of addictions and disappointments that nearly cost her life. James turned it around with Seven Year Itch in 1988 however, going sober and getting back to her Southern Soul roots. In 1994, James paid tribute to her idol, recording Mystery Lady: Songs Of Billie Holiday for which she won a Grammy. Today, James enjoys the fruits of the blues revival, bumping and grinding her way through her considerable collection of classics in front of a crowd that appreciates every minute of it.