Etta James was decorated with plaudits during an emotional memorial service in front of friends, family and distinguished guests, with REVEREND AL SHAPTON carrying off his role wonderfully well, giving a testimony that did perfect justice to one of the most influential singers of the last half century - reports The Guardian.
James died just last week aged 73 from complications with leukaemia following an eight month battle with the disease, yet that didn't stop the stars turning out in force to pay tribute to a legend of the music business, whilst those who couldn't attend - including PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA - had prepared their own statements to be read at the service which also saw performances from Stevie Wonder and Christina Aguilera. Obama's statement read "Etta will be remembered for her legendary voice and her contributions to our nation's musical heritage, I know she will be sorely missed by all those who knew and loved her." Aguilera meanwhile stated that she was "the [singer] that cut right to my soul and spoke to me."
Yet in many ways it was Sharpton who drove home what was so important about the late star with an impassioned testimony focusing on her achievements in life, enthusing "The genius of Etta James is she flipped the script . Etta James helped break down the culture curtain of America before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, she was able to get us to sing the same rhythms and melodies . Humming the same ballads and understanding each other's melodies way before we could even use the same hotels." Truly, the tributes that have poured forth in the past week are proof that the world of music is a much poorer place for James' demise.