The R&B singer battled heroin addiction for much of her younger life, finally breaking the addiction when she was 50. James was known for her poignant mix of power and pain in her work, and veteran musical producer Jerry Wexler called her "the greatest of all modern blues singers ... the undisputed Earth Mother."
Bonnie Raitt told Rolling Stone magazine in 2008 that: "There's a lot going on Etta James' voice. A lot of pain, a lot of life, most of all, a lot of strength. She can be so raucous and down one song, and then break your heart with her subtlety and finesse the next. As raw as Etta is, there's a great intelligence and wisdom in her singing."
This is one of my favourites. There is so much going on this song. Amazing.
She told Rolling Stone in 1997 that "Life's been rough. But life's been good. If I had to go back and do it all over again, I would live it the exact same way."
That's about as much as you could ever want really, isn't it?