Etta James Not As Much Of A Beyoncé Fan As Some Would Have You Believe

Feb 5th, 2009 // 6 Comments

Right after Barack Obama’s inauguration, the son of legendary singer Etta James claimed that his mother was happy with Beyoncé’s performance of her signature song “At Last” at one of the event’s associated balls; James allegedly watched Beyonce serenade the first couple while recuperating from complications stemming from a 2003 gastric-bypass surgery. But if James’ tirade at a show in Seattle shortly after the inauguration is to be believed, she wasn’t that into it. A cleaned-up summary of what she had to say, via the Seattle Times:

She finally did with a full-throated delivery of her 1961 hit “At Last” – which she noted was a favorite song of President Obama’s. And which she also claimed (in saltier language) could whip Beyoncé’s version. (The pop icon sang “At Last” at one of Obama’s inaugural balls, and played James in the recent film “Cadillac Records.”)

With all due respect to Beyoncé, no one can sing Etta like Etta – as the 71-year-old blues diva went on to also prove in her encore number, a get-down blast through Al Green’s “Love and Happiness.”

Gossip site reports that the word the Times was too polite to print was “ass” (and that “whip” was actually “whup.” (Audio of James’ crankiness is here.) Oh, and she also let drop the fact that Barack Obama isn’t necessarily her president! Maybe she was a big Ron Paul fan?

Bawdy Etta saves the “last” for best, unfortunately [Seattle Times]
Etta James on Beyoncé [zshare via Sandra Rose]

  1. BawstonSean

    God, I love that woman.

  2. Tauwan

    Older folks say the darndest things! Oh Etta!

    This reminds me, I need to call my Bigmama.

  3. lempha

    Let’s be honest, having Beyoncé sing that song makes it look like Etta died or something. And it’s not like they really wanted the song, but then Etta tragically fell sick and they had to get Beyoncé instead.

    At the same time, Beyoncé couldn’t much really have sung one of her songs? “Single Ladies”? “Freakum Dress”? “Jumpin’”?

  4. MayhemintheHood

    I feel like I’m taking crazy pills every time I’ve heard this story today, because I swear on my dog Petey’s life that she was dead…and not just in a “I haven’t heard about her in awhile” way but literally reading news blurbs about it.

  5. Tauwan


    Maybe you’re thinking of Eartha Kitt?

  6. cheesebubble

    Etta > Beyoncé

Leave A Comment