Etta James Net Worth at Death – How Did She Get Rich?

Etta James Net Worth

Etta James had an estimated net worth of $16 million at the time of her death. Etta James is a Grammy Award-winning singer known for hit songs like “I’d Rather Go Blind” and “At Last.” She earned most of her income from album sales and concerts. 

Etta James was a gospel prodigy. In 1954, she moved to Los Angeles to record “The Wallflower.” Her career began to soar in 1960, due in no small part to songs like “I’d Rather Go Blind” and “At Last.” Despite her ongoing drug problems, she received a Grammy nomination for her eponymous album in 1973. In 2006, she released the album All the Way. James died on January 20, 2012, in Riverside, California, and continues to be considered one of the most dynamic singers in music.

To calculate the net worth of Etta James, subtract all her liabilities from her total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity she has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of her net worth:

Name: Etta James
Net Worth: $16 Million
Monthly Salary: $100 Thousand
Annual Income: $2 Million
Source of Wealth: Musician, Singer-songwriter, Singer

Early Life

On January 25, 1938, in Los Angeles, California, Jamesetta Hawkins was born to a 14-year-old mother, Dorothy Hawkins, who encouraged her daughter’s singing career. Later, James would say, “My mother always told me that even if a song has been done a thousand times, you can still add your own spin to it. I’d like to think I accomplished that.” James had never met her father.

James was a gospel prodigy by the age of five, gaining fame by singing in her church choir and on the radio. She moved to San Francisco at the age of 12, where she formed a trio and soon began working for bandleader Johnny Otis.

Four years later, in 1954, she relocated to Los Angeles with the Otis band to record “The Wallflower” (a tamer title for the then-risqué “Roll with Me Henry”). That year, Etta James (a shortened version of her first name) was born, and her vocal group was dubbed “the Peaches” (also Etta’s nickname). In 1955, James launched her solo career with hits like “Good Rockin’ Daddy.”


James’ career took off after signing with Chicago’s Chess Records in 1960. Duets with then-boyfriend Harvey Fuqua, the heartbreaking ballad “All I Could Do Was Cry,” “At Last,” and “Trust in Me” all reached the top of the charts. But James’ abilities were not limited to powerful ballads. She could rock a house with gospel-infused songs like “Something’s Got a Hold On Me” in 1962, “In The Basement” in 1966, and “I’d Rather Go Blind” in 1968.

Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, James continued to collaborate with Chess. Unfortunately, heroin addiction affected both her personal and professional life, but despite her ongoing drug problems, she continued to release new albums. In 1967, James recorded in the Fame studios with the Muscle Shoals house band, resulting in the triumphant Tell Mama album.

Critics and fans alike praised James’ work, and her 1973 album Etta James received a Grammy nomination, in part for its innovative blend of rock and funk sounds.

After her contract with Chess expired in 1977, James signed with Warner Brothers Records. Her appearance at the opening ceremony of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles boosted her public profile. Subsequent albums, such as Deep In The Night and Seven Year Itch, received widespread praise.

Prior to signing a new recording contract with Private Records, James was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

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Later Career

James continued to perform and record well into the 1990s, with suggestive stage antics and a sassy attitude. Her extraordinary voice, which has always been soulful, was showcased to great effect on her recent private releases, including Blue Gardenia, which reached the top of the Billboard jazz chart.

James had gastric bypass surgery in 2003 and lost over 200 pounds. As she told Ebony magazine that year, her dramatic weight loss had an effect on her voice. “I have the ability to sing lower, higher, and louder,” James explained.

The following year, James released Let’s Roll, which was nominated for a Grammy for best contemporary blues album. Her sons, Donto and Sametto James, and Josh Sklair worked as producers on the album. This group reformed for her next album, Blues to the Bone (2004), which earned James her third Grammy Award, this time for best traditional blues album.

All the Way, James’ 2006 album, featured cover versions of songs by Prince, Marvin Gaye, and James Brown. The following year, she appeared on We Love Ella, a tribute album to jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald.

Controversy with Beyoncé

Cadillac Records, a film based on the early days of Chess Records, was released in 2008, with singer Beyoncè Knowles playing James. For the soundtrack, Knowles also recorded her own version of James’ signature song, “At Last.”

While James publicly supported the film, she was said to be irritated when Knowles performed the song at President Barack Obama’s inaugural ball in January 2009. In February, James allegedly told concertgoers in Seattle that Knowles “had no business… singing my song that I’d been singing forever.” Despite the media attention, James was unfazed by the incident and continued with her busy performing schedule.

Later Years and Death

James began to experience health problems as she approached her seventies. In 2010, she was admitted to the hospital with a blood infection and other ailments. Later, it was revealed that the legendary singer had dementia and was being treated for leukemia.

Her medical issues were revealed in court documents filed by her husband, Artis Mills. Mills attempted to seize $1 million from James, but was met with opposition from James’ two sons, Donto and Sametto. The two parties eventually reached an agreement.

The Dreamer, James’s most recent studio album, was released in November 2011 to positive reviews. A few weeks later, James’ doctor declared the singer to be terminally ill. “She is nearing the end of her leukemia treatment.

She is also suffering from dementia and Hepatitis C “According to Dr. Elaine James (not related to the singer), Etta’s health was deteriorating, and she was receiving care at her Riverside, California, home, according to James’ sons.

On January 20, 2012, James died at her home in Riverside, California. She is still regarded as one of music’s most dynamic singers today.

Further Reading

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How To Become Rich Like Etta James?

Etta James did not become rich by luck. To become as rich as Etta James, you have to work smart.

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Thanks to the Internet, the world has changed massively in recent years. Nowadays it has become much easier to make money online.

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If you seize this golden opportunity in time, you can become as successful as Etta James one day.

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