R&B great Etta James is at Riverside Community Hospital “recovering from sepsis caused by a urinary tract infection,” reports KTLA. The 72-year-old singer best known for the definitive recording of “At Last,” the title-track to her classic 1961 debut album, has been at the medical center for about a week.
She's “fighting off three separate kinds of serious bacteria,” her son, Donto James, told CNN. He also noted his mother has been battling Alzheimer's disease for the past year. “Right now she is very confused,” he said, describing his mother as “quite combative … fighting, biting–I'm talking way off the chart … I am going to end up losing my mother if it keeps going on like this.”
If her son is correct about his mother's Alzheimer's, it means the disease might have played a role in the not-so-nice comments James made last year about Beyonce covering “At Last” at President Barack Obama's inaugural ball.
“Wait a minute, he ain't my president. He might be yours; he ain't my president. But I tell you that woman he had singing for him, singing my song–she's going to get her ass whipped,” James said, according to MTV, by way of TMZ. “The great Beyonce. Like I said, she ain't mine. … I can't stand Beyonce. She has no business up there, singing up there on a big ol' president day, gonna be singing my song that I've been singing forever.”