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“She at least enjoyed a great resurgence like John Lee Hooker did and B.B. King, (and) has had some great decades of appreciation from new generations around the world,” said Raitt. “There’s no one like her. No one will ever replace Etta.”

And Ritz said the lack of commercial success does nothing to diminish her greatness, or her legacy.

“Marvin certain knew it and Ray knew it … the people who know that she was in that category,” he said. “Whatever the marketplace did or didn’t do or whether her lack of career management didn’t do, it has nothing to do with her talent.”

And on Friday, the Queen of Soul was among those who paid tribute to James greatness, calling her “one of the great soul singers of our generation. An American original!

“I loved `Pushover,’ `At Last’ and almost any and everything she recorded! When Etta SUNG, you heard it!”


AP Entertainment Writer Chris Talbott and AP Writer Mesfin Fekadu contributed to this report.


Nekesa Mumbi Moody is the AP’s music editor. Follow her at