The Life Of Etta James
Blues To The Bone - The Life Of Etta James.
First broadcast in 2006.
Candi Staton presents the story of the great RnB singer.
With a career that spanned nearly six decades, James has been cited as an influence by artists such as Christina Aguilera, Melissa Etheridge and the late Janis Joplin. Film director Martin Scorsese said of her: "I first heard Etta James' voice in the early 60s, coming out of the radio. That soaring voice... it was like taking a ride up to the stars."
But as we'll hear from these three programmes, James' private life was troubled by drug addiction and legal problems. It wasn't until 1988, after treatment at the Betty Ford Clinic, that she finally beat her addiction and released Seven Year Itch, an album showcasing a new, more raunchy style of singing.
But in 1994 the music industry awarded James her first Grammy, that of Best Jazz Vocal Performance for her collection of Billie Holliday songs. And after picking up the Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2003, two more followed (Best Contemporary Blues Album for 2003's Let's Roll and Best Traditional Blues Album for 2004's Blues To The Bone). This series first broadcast on Radio 2 in 2006.
Whilst Etta has wooed audiences all over the world since beginning her career in the 50s, she's had a rollercoaster private life.
Despite facing health challenges, Etta recently released a new album, The Dreamer, but she has announced that it will be her last.
6 Music marks her retirement from music, with a repeat broadcast of this three-part series from 2006.
Candi Staton presents the story of the singer who has conquered personal demons while recording some of the greatest R 'n' B records ever.