Etta James Remembered As Triumphant Trailblazer

Rev. Al Sharpton says Etta James should be remembered as a woman and an artist who "turned her pain into power."

Sharpton eulogized the rhythm and blues singer at a memorial service Saturday in which he highlighted James' vocal talent but also her bluntness and ability to break down racial and cultural barriers.

The reverend opened his eulogy by reading a statement from President Barack Obama, who danced with the first lady to James' well-known hit "At Last" during their inaugural ball. His statement praised her "legendary voice."

James died Jan. 20 after battling leukemia and other ailments.

Stevie Wonder performed "Shelter in the Rain" and Christina Aguilera performed James' signature song, bringing the hundreds of friends, family and fans gathered to celebrate James' life to their feet.

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  • by Bubba Location: enc on Jan 29, 2012 at 12:11 PM
    Etta who???
  • by You'd Think... on Jan 28, 2012 at 07:36 PM
    This lady lived a MUCH more respectable life than Michael Jackson...yet hundreds of thousands of people mourned his death. I though he was a good singer, but hey, there are plenty of good ones out there. Aretha Franklin could wipe the floor with Etta!
  • by Strange on Jan 28, 2012 at 07:16 PM
    George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, John Adams, Daniel Boone, Davey Crocket, Lewis & Clark....I can think of several more people I'd consider "trailblazers" far and above Etta. Even MLK is much more important in history. What about Susan B. Anthony? Henry Ford? Thomas Edison? Alexander Graham Bell? Florence Nightingale?...the list goes on and on...

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