December 25, 2011- Grammy winner Etta James, who has terminal leukemia, was hospitalized near Los Angeles. The singer is breathing with the aid of a breathing machine said her manager of many years. She was hospitalized earlier in the week after becoming very ill at her home in Riverside, about an hour from Los Angeles.
The 73-year old singer who is known best for At Last, a blues ballad, had trouble breathing earlier in the week, prompting her admittance to the hospital. Her manager of 30 years, Lupe De-Leon said James was resting comfortably.
The Grammy winner has seen her health suffer over the past years. She has kidney disease, dementia and terminal leukemia. However, she had been able to remain at home with full time health care specialists until last week.
Her doctor said James only is able to communicate using simple words and nods of the head. James, the winner of three Grammies, battled obesity as well as an addiction to heroin for a number of years.
De-Leon said, “It is really difficult since Etta is like a sister to me.”
James played a key role in R&B music’s early years with successful songs such as Good Rockin’ Daddy and The Wallflower. However, At Last, her 1961 hit made her famous.