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A few years ago, I thought, I'll never make it. I started to go to the doctor to help me lose weight. 
Etta James 

And as I started reaching deeper I realized that most of the blues of that day was done by men. Women just didn't have the nerve. 
Etta James 

At the same time I was being given a Lifetime Achievement Grammy. 
Etta James 

Bobby Womack is always very real, both with his music and as a person. 
Etta James 

But even so, I still get nervous before I go onstage. 
Etta James 

I am so happy that I am alive and can walk. 
Etta James 

I don't care who's playing. Even if it's my favorite artist, I'm probably not gonna go and see him. 
Etta James 

I figured I could do It's A Man's Man's Man's World, because I believe it's the truth. 
Etta James 

I like to shop, but I don't like to go out to dances. 
Etta James 

I sing the songs that people need to hear. 
Etta James 


I talked to the record company about what I had in mind. They said they wanted something lush. I figured the best thing to do was let them hear what I had in mind. 
Etta James 

I wanna show that gospel, country, blues, rhythm and blues, jazz, rock 'n' roll are all just really one thing. Those are the American music and that is the American culture. 
Etta James 


















I'm not a braggart, but when I was a little girl people used to come from all over Hollywood to hear me sing. 
Etta James 

It's not about battling the original artists when I record these songs, it's about paying tribute to them. 
Etta James 

It's the same thing now. When I go onstage the young people scream and holler as much as the older generation. 
Etta James 

Johnny Guitar... just one of my favorite singers of all time. I met him when we were both on the road with Johnny Otis in the '50s when I was a teenager. We traveled the country in a car together.I would hear him sing every night. 
Etta James 

Most of the songs I sing have that blues feeling in it. They have that sorry feeling. And I don't know what I'm sorry about. I don't. 
Etta James 

My mother always told me, even if a song has been done a thousand times, you can still bring something of your own to it. I'd like to think I did that. 
Etta James 

My mother always wanted me to be glamorous. When I thought about that, it really fired me up, and once I lost all those pounds, I started to feel really good about myself. 
Etta James 

My mother was a jazz fanatic and she wanted me to play the piano so I could play jazz tunes. I wish I had learned but I was too busy getting into trouble! 
Etta James 

Now I can stand up on the stage again like I used to after five years of sitting down while I sang. 
Etta James 

That's where it begins and ends for me and these songs were the ones that touched me the deepest. It was like I was laying hold of some part of me that I didn't even know was there until I let it out. 
Etta James 

The only time that I am really truly happy - when I feel at my best - is when I'm on the stage. 
Etta James 

They said that Etta James is still vulgar. I said, Oh, how dare them say I'm still vulgar. I'm vulgar because I dance in the chair. What would they want me to do? Want me to just be still or something like that? I've got to do something. 
Etta James 

This is an album of songs that I've always loved, tunes that I heard. For the first time in 53 years of recording, I really had control over an entire album, start to finish. 
Etta James 

What happens is, when I perform, I'm somewhere else. I go back in time and get in touch with who I really am. I forget my troubles, my worries. 
Etta James 

When I look out at the people and they look at me and they're smiling, then I know that I'm loved. That is the time when I have no worries, no problems. 
Etta James 

When I'm performing for the people, I am me, then. I am that little girl who, when she was five years old, used to sing at church. Or I'm that 15-year-old young lady who wanted to be grown and wanted to sing and couldn't wait to be smokin' a cigarette, you know? 
Etta James 

You can't fake this music. You might be a great singer or a great musician but, in the need, that's got nothing to do with it. It's how you connect to the songs and to the history behind them. 
Etta James 

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