The Prominent Etta James
Etta James’ music ranged not only in genres but also tone and moods, thus taking the audience on a journey filled with various emotions and feelings. For instance, in the song ‘I’d rather go blind,’ the singer showcases her “dramatic qualities,” as she becomes a powerhouse when hitting high notes and is equally soft when hitting the lower notes (Wallenfeldt 274). James does not specifically play any instruments, however, her dynamic voice alone is enough to light up the whole stage. Her live performance at Montreux in 1975, where she sings ‘I’d rather go blind,’ shows her exceptional strength to just captivate the audience, for example, her powerful growls, such as at 1:06, 1:31, 2:06, 4:58 etc as well as her soft notes at 2:46-2:48 are perfect (Etta James - Id Rather Be Blind). Her emotions and expressions are in tune with the lyrics of the song, furthermore, her strength is also seen when she holds the microphone really far away from her mouth, and yet her voice is really loud and sharp. This classic song is performed by Beyonce Knowles in the movie Cadillac Records where she portrays the character of James, however, James’ version is still considered best.
The soul queen’s biggest connection to Los Angeles is that she was born there and raised there till she moved to San Francisco at the age of 12 (Bio 1). Although the artist had a career, which spanned over five decades, the fact is remains that she had been facing several drug addiction as well as health