Singer Etta James Hospitalized ‘in Pretty Bad Shape’

By Olivia Katrandjian

Dec 24, 2011 1:36pm

gty etta james 1962 sswm jt 111217 wblog Singer Etta James Hospitalized in Pretty Bad Shape

Singer Etta James has been hospitalized after experiencing trouble breathing, and her manager said the blues legend is “in pretty bad shape.”

Lupe De Leon, who has been James’ manager for 30 years, told The Associated Press that the singer was taken to a hospital in Southern California Wednesday evening and put on a breathing apparatus.

James’ family is with her at the hospital.

James, who has been suffering from chronic leukemia, is terminally ill, her doctor said.

Dr. Elaine James, who is unrelated to the singer and has been living with her since March 2010, is now asking James’ fans to pray for her.

“I am Southern and Christian and would just ask for the prayers of her fans and friends,” Elaine James said, according to the Press-Enterprise.

“They know she’s been sick, but not how sick,” Elaine James said.

According to court documents filed in a dispute between family members over the singer’s medical care, James also suffers from dementia and kidney failure.

The 73-year-old entertainer, who is most famous for the hit song “At Last,” has been under the 24-hour care of Elaine James since 2001, when the doctor was hired by the singer’s husband, Artis Mills.

In the 1960s and 1970s, James was in and out of rehab programs for a heroin addiction. In 1974, she spent 17 months in the hospital after she was arrested for drug possession and sentenced to drug treatment instead of prison time.

James was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and 2008. She has won six Grammy Awards and 17 Blues Music Awards, and was named number 22 on Rolling Stones’ 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

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