Etta-James.jpgBeyonce Knowles has released a statement praising the late singing legend Etta James as  “one of the greatest vocalists of our time,” according to TMZ. Beyonce played James in the film “Cadallic Records,” but the admiration she’s showing wasn’t always returned.

Back in 2009 when Beyonce sang “At Last” at Barack Obama‘s inauguration, James said, “That woman he had singing for him, singing my song … she’s going to get her ass whipped.” Ouch! (You can check out a video of the performance below.) Beyonce is apparently over it. She continued, “I am so fortunate to have met such a queen. Her musical contributions will last a lifetime.”

She said, “Playing Etta James taught me so much about myself, and singing her music
inspired me to be a stronger artist.  When she effortlessly opened her
mouth, you could hear her pain and triumph. Her deeply emotional way of
delivering a song told her story with no filter. She was fearless, and had guts. She will be missed.”

James may be best known for songs like “At Last,” which may be one of the most beloved wedding songs of all time, but she had a feisty side. (That comment about Beyonce may have tipped you off to that fact.) Check out the video below of her singing the Guns N’ Roses song “Welcome to the Jungle.”

Posted by:jbusch