American singer Etta James, whose careers spanned more than half a century and included hits such as Dance With Me, Henry and Tell Mama, has died at the age of 73. She had been suffering from leukemia for about a year.
Born in 1938, James never knew the identity of her father for certain but speculated that it was pool player Rudolf Wanderone. In 1955 she got her big break as a singer with the recording of Dance With Me, Henry, which was a number one hit and earned James a support slot on tour with Little Richard. She moved to the legendary Chess label and scored further hits while experimenting with different styles and genres.
Her career tailed off in the late 70s but in 1989 she released Seven Year Itch with Island Records and the second phase of her success began. She enjoyed critical and commercial success for another two decades, and her work continues to be sampled by modern musicians.