Ailing singing star Etta James has been hospitalized in Los Angeles after falling ill with a potentially-fatal blood infection. She is being treated for sepsis, a form of blood poisoning caused by a urinary tract infection. She was hospitalized for the same condition last year and, according to her son Sepio, will remain in hospital “for as long as it takes to clear her infections.”
The 73-year-old singer has been unable to take for herself since early 2010. James, best remembered for the ’60s ballad “At Last,” suffers from dementia, leukemia, and kidney problems. Questions about her mental stability first arose after Etta went on a rant against singing star Beyonce, who performed her signature song at President Barack Obama’s inaugural ball in Jan. 2009. The former heroin addict underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2003 after a lifelong battle against obesity.
Etta remains at the center of a legal battle between her son, Donto James, and her husband of more than 40 years, Artis Mills. The men are at war over control of her assets and the quality of her medical care. Mr. James and his attorneys have questioned the care of a live-in physician and disputed Mills’ control over the estate.
James was portrayed by Beyonce in the 2008 drama Cadillac Records.