December 16, 2011 19:57

Etta James terminally ill with leukaemia

Doctors say singer's condition is incurable

Etta James terminally ill with leukaemia

Photo: PA

Etta James is terminally ill with leukaemia, according to reports.

The 73-year-old singer was diagnosed with the illness earlier this year, but doctors have now said that her condition is incurable, claims the Riverside Press Enterprise.

James, who is best known for her recordings of songs such as 'At Last' and 'Tell Mama', was reportedly told that her illness was terminal two weeks ago and has been receiving 24-hour care from her doctor.

Doctor Elaine James, who has been treating the singer, said:

I am Southern and Christian and would just ask for the prayers of her fans and friends.


The physician was speaking outside a courtroom, at a hearing to determine who should assume control of her estate. Her husband Artis Mills has asked a California court to allow him to take control of more than $1 million (£630,000) of her money, but her son Donto James would rather a conservator was in charge to manage her payments and expenses.

Court papers had previously revealed that James was unable to sign her own name and needed help eating and dressing. She was also diagnosed with dementia in January of this year.

Etta James was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and is the recipient of six Grammy awards.

Raised in Los Angeles, James began singing as a child at church and joined a doo-wop group in her early teens. Addicted to heroin throughout the '60s, she got clean in the mid-'70s and became one of the most respected singers in soul and blues. She has released 30 albums.

Beyonce is one of her many famous fans and covered 'At Last' at Glastonbury and T In The Park earlier this year. James released her version of the track in 1961. In 2008 Beyonce appeared as James in the film Cadillac Records.

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