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Etta James Bridged Rhythm Blues Rock Roll

January 29, 2012 by staff 

Etta James Bridged Rhythm Blues Rock Roll, Christina Aguilera sings Etta James’ signature song “At Last” Saturday at the funeral in Gardena, California , About 300 mourners remembered legendary singer Etta James on Saturday as an authentic voice whose velvety vocals bridged genres from blues to rock.

Another legendary singer, Stevie Wonder, gave a musical tribute to James at her funeral: He played the electronic keyboard and sang his “Shelter in the Rain.” He then performed on the harmonica and sang The Lord’s Prayer.

Also performing at the service was Christina Aguilera, who sang James’ signature song “At Last” and ended her rendition to a standing audience with a farewell directed at James’ casket: “May you rest in peace.”

After the service, Aguilera told CNN that James was her idol.

“It was so emotional,” Aguilera said. “I went through the lyrics last night, and I did rehearsal … and it took on a whole new meaning having been invited by her close friends and family to sing that classic song at her service. And I started crying every time I started to sing it, and I thought, ‘My gosh, what if that happens tomorrow? I just want to do justice to Etta James. She meant the whole world to me, and it was a huge honor to be here today.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton presided over the funeral in southern California where James was raised, and he began the service by reading aloud a note from President Barack Obama, who said that James’ talents transcended genres.

Obama wrote that James will be remembered for her voice, Sharpton told family and friends at Greater Bethany Community Church City of Refuge in Gardena.
“I know she will be sorely missed by all those who knew and loved her,” the president’s note said, according to Sharpton.

James died January 20 at the age of 73 of complications due to leukemia at a hospital in Riverside, California. She would have turned 74 last Wednesday.

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