January 20, 2012
Etta James performs during the 2006 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans. James, the feisty rhythm and blues singer whose raw, passionate vocals anchored many hits and made the yearning ballad “At Last” an enduring anthem for weddings, commercials and even President Barack Obama, died Friday. She was 73.
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Etta James’ performance of the enduring classic “At Last” was the embodiment of refined soul: Angelic-sounding strings harkened the arrival of her passionate yet measured vocals as she sang tenderly about a love finally realized after a long and patient wait.