Christina Aguilera performs in a cleavage-revealing top at Etta James' funeral

Christina Aguilera performs in a cleavage-revealing top at Etta James' funeral
Published: 30 January 2012 (955 Views)
Christina Aguilera stole the show at Etta James's funeral with a performance of 'At Last' in a cleavage-revealing outfit.

The 31-year-old looked fantastic in a fitted black suit and gold cross chain as she belted out a moving rendition of the song at the blues legend's memorial service at a church in Gardena, just outside of Los Angeles.

Christine, who received rave reviews on Twitter, told Etta's friends, family and fans that she has included At Last in every concert she's performed as a tribute to her musical inspiration.

Etta triumphed against all odds to break down cultural and musical barriers in a style that was unfailingly honest.

The Reverend Al Sharpton, a civil rights activist, eulogised James in a rousing speech, describing her remarkable rise from poverty and pain to become a woman whose music became an enduring anthem for weddings and commercials.

Perhaps most famously, President Barack Obama and the first lady shared their first inaugural ball dance to a version of the song sung by Beyonce, who portrayed James in the film Cadillac Records.

Mr Sharpton opened his remarks by reading a statement from the president.

"Etta will be remembered for her legendary voice and her contributions to our nation's musical heritage," Mr Obama's statement read.

The Grammy-winning singer died January 20 after battling leukaemia and other ailments, including dementia.

She had retreated from public life in recent years, but her legacy was on display as mourners of all ages and races converged on the City of Refuge church in Gardena, south of central Los Angeles.

Stevie Wonder also performed three songs, including Shelter In the Rain and a harmonica solo. James' rose-draped coffin was on display, surrounded by wreaths and floral arrangements and pictures of the singer.

Mr Sharpton, who met James when he was an up-and-coming preacher, credited her with helping break down racial barriers through her music.

"She was able to get us on the same rhythms and humming the same ballads and understanding each other's melodies way before we could even use the same hotels," Mr Sharpton said, referring to the era when racial segregation was the law in many US states.

He said James' fame and influence would have been unthinkable to a woman with James' background - growing up in a broken home during segregation and at times battling her own demons.

"The genius of Etta James is she flipped the script," Mr Sharpton said, alluding to her struggles with addiction, which she eventually overcame.

"She waited until she turned her pain into power," he said, adding that it turned her story away from being a tragic one into one of triumph.

"You beat 'em Etta," Mr Sharpton said in concluding his eulogy. "At last. At last. At last!"

The assembly roared to their feet, and would again stand to applaud performances by Wonder and Aguilera, who filled the sanctuary with their voices.

"Out of all the singers that I've ever heard, she was the one that cut right to my soul and spoke to me," Aguilera said before her performance.

Throughout the service, a portrait of James as a woman who beat the odds in pursuit of her dreams repeatedly emerged.

James won four Grammy Awards, including a lifetime achievement honour, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. In her decades-long career, she became revered for her passionate, soulful singing voice.

James is survived by her husband of 42 years, Artis Mills, and two sons, Donto and Sametto James.

"Mom, I love you," Donto James said during brief remarks. "When I get to the gates, can you please be there for me?"



- Mirror

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Zanu-PF, MDC-T refuses to commit to gender equality

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 90 Views

Mukanya, Tuku collabo on cards

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 91 Views

LIVE: Highlanders vs Shabanie

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 94 Views

LIVE: Caps United versus Dynamos

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 114 Views

Fired nurses reapply

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 103 Views

Mr Chamisa, What Do You Stand For?

by Charles, Harare (student) | 22 April 2018 | 66 Views

Our government will prioritise rural development - Chamisa

by Fanuel Chinowaita | 22 April 2018 | 149 Views

Chipinge youths endorse Chamisa

by Fanuel Chinowaita | 22 April 2018 | 133 Views

Economy over politics, says Mnangagwa

by Staff Reporter | 22 April 2018 | 105 Views

'Thokozani Khupe, why bed an unrepentant tribalist?'

by Angela Takawira | 22 April 2018 | 156 Views

Man (30) kills drinking mate over puppy

by Simbarashe Sithole | 22 April 2018 | 87 Views

2018 polls: It's game on

by Staff rpeorter | 22 April 2018 | 69 Views

MDC-T hand behind nurses strike

by Staff rpeorter | 22 April 2018 | 79 Views

Mukanya has no intentions of dying in a foreign land

by staff rpeorter | 22 April 2018 | 66 Views

'Nedbank can help Zim economy'

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 75 Views

Diamond giant wants Zimbabwe gems

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 65 Views

Zimbabwe angling for $213bn diamond sub-sector

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 68 Views

Big welcome for Mukanya

by Staff rpeorter | 22 April 2018 | 69 Views

Mnangagwa doing things differently

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 77 Views

Sibusiso Moyo rallies nation, Diaspora

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 60 Views

Big Charlie needs your help

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 64 Views

Makamba plotting a smear campaign against Supa Mandiwanzira?

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 76 Views

470 000 houses to be constructed

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 62 Views

Zanu-PF, MDC-T receive $9m

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 90 Views

Dismissed nurses panic, end strike

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 40 Views

Bosso stalk elusive Shabanie

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 68 Views

SA firm applies for $200m Nkayi Road construction

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 30 Views

Bulawayo Chiefs shock FC Platinum

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 63 Views

Mnangagwa meets Russians

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 36 Views

Ex-bodyguard bares all on Nikita Mangena

by Staff rpeorter | 22 April 2018 | 103 Views

ZITF kicks off

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 34 Views

MDC-T congress endorses Dr Khupe

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 44 Views

Why Tuku may be more loved than Mapfumo

by Staff rpeorter | 22 April 2018 | 65 Views

WATCH: Triangle late comeback stuns Bulawayo City

by Staff rpeorter | 22 April 2018 | 64 Views

Omega Sibanda, Chiyangwa in Zanu-PF primaries

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 40 Views

Hlalani Kuhle project to be completed in 16 years

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2018 | 36 Views