EW has confirmed that iconic soul singer Etta James’s health has taken a turn for the worst. It’s been a year of medical hardship for 73-year-old James. According to Lupe De Leon, her manager of 30 years, “Etta has a terminal illness. She’s in the final stages of leukemia. She has also been diagnosed with dementia and Hepatitis C. She’s in a home right now and mostly sleeps. She is under the care of a live-in doctor from Riverside Community Hospital and two others who have placed her on oxygen. Her husband is with her 24 hours a day, and her sons visit regularly. We’re all very sad. We’re just waiting.”
De Leon mentioned James’s most recent release, The Dreamer, saying, “It’s ironic because she sounded so vibrant and powerful on it. It was only recorded two and a half years ago.” James will forever be remembered for her legendary 1961 recording of “At Last,” the song President Barack Obama chose for his first dance with wife Michelle at the 2009 inauguration festivities.