Blues Singer Etta James Terminally Ill With Leukemia

By Lauren Kearney

Etta James, known universally for the classic ballad “At Last,” is now terminally ill according to her live-in doctor, Dr. Elaine James. The doctor asked fans to pray for the Blues legend who has been suffering from leukemia, dementia and kidney failure for the past few years.

The 73-year-old singer was hospitalized earlier this year in May for treatment of the blood infection sepsis and a urinary tract infection, but as of the last two weeks, her leukemia has been declared incurable.

Dr. James—who is of no relation to the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer—told Riverside Press Enterprise that she wanted to go public to let fans know the severity of the situation. “They know she’s been sick, but not how sick,” she said, adding that Etta James is unable to communicate well at this stage in her sickness.

Etta James is leaving behind quite a legacy. Her music career spanned over the last five decades and has inspired legends-in-the-making, such as Beyonce and Adele. She is included in the Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time for “At Last.”