Etta James has passed away after a lengthy struggle with leukemia.
The singer, a four-time Grammy winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member whose distinct blues style was an inspiration to countless contemporary artists, was 73.
Her longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon, confirmed the news:
"This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world. She was a true original who could sing it all – her music defied category or genre."
"I worked with Etta for over 30 years. She was my friend and I will miss her always."
Because of health concerns, Etta James curtailed her concerts in January 2010 to enter the hospital with a blood infection, among other ailments, including Alzheimer's.
In May 2011, James was again admitted to a hospital in Riverside, Calif., with a urinary tract infection and the blood infection sepsis, her son Sametto James said.
Ultimately, leukemia got the better of her, but her legacy lives on, profoundly.
James was portrayed in the 2008 movie Cadillac Records by Beyonce, who has called her an idol. Christina Aguilera also cited James as a major influence.
Etta, whose library features 28 studio albums, three live albums, six compilations and 58 hit singles was ranked 22nd among Rolling Stone's 100 Best Singers of All Time.