Christina Aguilera sang an incredible rendition of one of James’ best known hits, “At Last.”
“There’s a line in this song that says, ‘I found a dream that I could speak to,’” said Aguilera. “And for me that dream all my life has been Etta James. I’ve aspired to sing like her, to be like her, to emulate her notes and her passion and the love for what she did – I could feel it. Out of all the singers I’ve ever heard, she was the one that cut right to my soul and spoke to me.”
Sharpton called James a “bridge over troubled water.”
James was buried after the service at Inglewood Park Cemetery.
James died from complications of leukemia. She had been diagnosed with chronic leukemia in January 2011. Court records show the 73-year-old entertainer also suffered from dementia and kidney failure.
Throughout her career, James has released 30 albums and 58 singles. She has explored the musical genres of gospel, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and jazz.
James was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and 2008.