Music News

Etta James Hospitalized with Blood Infection

Legendary jazz and R&B singer Etta James has been hospitalized in Riverside, California with a blood infection. James, 73, is perhaps best known for her song "At Last," though she's also sang backup vocals for Chuck Berry, toured with Little Richard, and garnered four Grammy Awards since her recording career began in 1954.

James was reportedly admitted into the hospital early last week, and treated for a urinary tract infection and sepsis (blood poisoning caused by a bacterial infection). At the time this blog was published, James remained in the hospital for treatment. Although sepsis is a potentially deadly infection, James' son Sametto told media James is "doing a lot better."

James was also hospitalized last year for similar infections. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2009, and with leukemia in January of this year. James, who also battled an addiction to heroin from the early 1970s until a stint at the Betty Ford Clinic in 1988, received treatment last year for an addiction to painkillers.

All things considered, it's a little miracle that James is still with us. Here's hoping she makes a full recovery, and maybe even makes it back to Phoenix on a tour stop some day. She hasn't been here since April of 2009, when she played at Celebrity Theatre.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea