Home > Genres > Blues > Etta James: A Lifetime Surrounded By Music

Etta James: A Lifetime Surrounded By Music

Advertising Information for vagmusic
One of the best American blues, gospel and R&B singer is Jamesetta Hawkins, popularly known as Etta James. She was born on January 25, 1938 in Los Angeles, California. Etta James was immersed in the music world since she was 5, and received professional vocal training from James Earle Hines, the musical director of the Echoes of Eden choir at St. Paul Baptist Church. In 1950, her family moved to San Francisco, California and here, she formed a trio named “The Creolettes” with two of her friends.

In San Francisco, her trio caught the attention of John Otis, a well known producer of that time. He looked for her, and by 1954 she had already recorded a few singles with the John Otis band. Etta was able to make a hit in the white market, and she signed with Chess Records in 1960. From the 60s until the 90s, Etta enjoyed a limited success. Etta recorded various duets who endure until today. Nevertheless, in 1994, she won the Grammy for best jazz vocal with her CD, Mystery Lady. In 2003, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award was given to her and in 2004; she won the Grammy for best contemporary blues album with Let’s Roll.

Maybe, her biggest hit, or at least, the song that everybody knows from Etta’s repertoire is “I Just Wanna Make Love to You”, because it has been used in several television commercials. Great artists such as the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry and Foghat have also recorded this song, which is the reason why it has become so popular. Etta has lived a tumultuous life surrounded by drugs and romantic problems that have interfered with her career; nonetheless, she made it possible to maintain her career in spite of all those problems. She was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2003, she received her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame…and she is still touring.

Back to Blues