Name: Etta James
Basics: One of the most dynamic voices in music, Etta was considered a gospel prodigy at the age of five. It was after 1960 when Etta’s career began to soar, recording some of her most famous songs such as “At Last” and “Trust Me”. She earned a Grammy nomination for her 1973 album Etta James. 1993 saw her inducted in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. She always wowed with her presence on stage and her attitude off it.
Why I Chose Them: It’s too easy to put laser focus on someone’s flaws and overlook all their accomplishments. I feel like Etta James never has gotten as much recognition as she deserved. But we do it far too often. We did it with Michael Jackson and we did it with Whitney Houston. The tragedies of these people’s lives are ran through over and over again, their accomplishments being little more than a side item to only be remembered once the person is dead. I think that’s a shame and we can do better at forgiving and remembering the things that should really matter about those who have contributed to our community’s history.