Etta James‘ tirade about Beyoncé at a Seattle show last month? It wasn’t a dis so much as it was a joke that none of us got because the audio making its way around the Internet didn’t have the audience’s laughter properly amplified, she told the New York Daily News: “I didn’t really mean anything. Even as a little child, I’ve always had that comedian kind of attitude. … That’s probably what went into it.” Although she did think that B could have maybe given a better-than-B-grade performance!
She said she liked Beyoncé’s performance, but when asked if she thought she could have done better, James answered, “I think so. That’s a shame to say that.”
However, her bit about Barack Obama not being her President? That was serious, because she felt snubbed by the Inaugural organizers for not picking her to sing “At Last” at last month’s Neighborhood Ball: “[I was] feeling left out of something that was basically mine, that I had done every time you look around.” But she does hope that Obama won’t be mad forever:
As for Obama, James said she “always thought he was handsome and he was cool.”
“I still had my joke about him,” she said. “That might be horrible. The President might not ever like me in life.”
She questioned how upset Obama could possibly be about the barb: “He’s got other stuff [to worry about] besides Etta James.”
Which is probably the best point to arise out of this whole affair.