Etta James Death: Beyoncé Speaks

Calling her “the eternally great Etta James,” Beyoncé is paying special tribute to the quintessential R&B diva, who died on Friday, January 20th morning at 73 from complications of leukemia.

“This is a huge loss. Etta James was one of the greatest vocalists of our time,” Beyoncé, who played James in the movie Cadillac Records, posted in a message on her website. “I am so fortunate to have met such a queen. Her musical contributions will last a lifetime.”

Speaking of her role in the 2008 film, the new mom adds, “Playing Etta James taught me so much about myself, and singing her music inspired me to be a stronger artist. When she effortlessly opened her mouth, you could hear her pain and triumph. Her deeply emotional way of delivering a song told her story with no filter.”

Beyoncé says, “She was fearless, and had guts. She will be missed.”

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