"What a lady Etta James was. She was the ultimate original," she said, recalling her own encounter with the icon. "Her voice was breath taking and her songs are reflections we all recognise in some way or another. It's an honour every time I hear her voice. I saw her at BB Kings in New York a few years ago, and it was something I will remember forever. Thank you to Etta James. And I send all my love to her family and friends."
Since the news broke of James' death, many big-voiced divas have opened up about the influence she had on them. "Etta James was a force to be reckoned with. A true gift to music and a woman of great spirit and courage. Her raw tone and the passion she put forth on a record spoke to me at a very young age and has continued to influence and inspire me throughout my career," Christina Aguilera said in a statement. "She will NEVER be forgotten, her voice will forever live on and she will inspire talent for generations to come."
Beyoncé also remembered the "At Last" singer within hours of learning of her passing. She was one in a long line of pop stars who paid their last respects to James, including Hayley Williams, will.i.am and Flo Rida.
"This is a huge loss. Etta James was one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I am so fortunate to have met such a queen," Beyoncé wrote on her blog. "Her musical contributions will last a lifetime. Playing Etta James taught me so much about myself, and singing her music inspired me to be a stronger artist. When she effortlessly opened her mouth, you could hear her pain and triumph. Her deeply emotional way of delivering a song told her story with no filter. She was fearless, and had guts. She will be missed."
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