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Beyonce: Etta James ‘Had Guts,’ Inspired Her Career

Jim Spellman, WireImage | Steve Granitz, WireImage

Since the birth of her daughter Blue Ivy on Jan. 7, Beyonce hasn’t made a public experience nor gave an interview to press. Yet the Houston native breaks her silence today (Jan. 20) to share her sentiments on the life and career of veteran soul singer Etta James, who passed away several hours ago due to complications from leukemia.

“I am so fortunate to have met such a queen,” the former Destiny’s Child frontwoman revealed in a statement obtained by TMZ. “Her musical contributions will last a lifetime.”

In 2008, Beyonce took on a film role playing James in ‘Cadillac Records,’ a biopic that depicted the musical era between the 1940s and 1960s and detailed record executive Leonard Chess and his famed Chess Records.

“Playing Etta James taught me so much about myself, and singing her music inspired me to be a stronger artist,” the 30-year-old performer and new mom shared. “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.”

James influenced the ’4′ creator’s career, however, the veteran songstress didn’t think highly of her after she watched Beyonce perform her famed hit ‘At Last’ at President Obama’s 2009 inaugural ball. “That woman he had singing for him, singing my song … she’s going to get her ass whooped,” James expressed.

Besides the ‘Love on Top’ singer, a slew of celebrity entertainers have come forward to express their opinion of Etta James via Twitter.

“rip tp Etta James. i will hold the torch high for The Roots name in your honor,” Questlove wrote.

will.i.am paid his respects with, “Showing respect appreciation and love for all the wonderful music and joy #ettajames brought to the world…#ettajamesforever.”

“CLASSIC. ONE OF A KIND. PURE SOUL. ETTA JAMES! Thank You for gracing us with your incredible talent & presence!” Beyonce’s friend and former bandmate Kelly Rowland tweeted.


Watch ‘Legendary Blues Singer Etta James Dies’

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Legendary Blues Singer Etta James Dies

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