Editor’s note: The following report, which has received recent coverage by a number of news outlets including the source cited below, dates back to 2009 and does not reflect recent comments made by Etta James, who is currently ailing. We apologize for the error in republishing this information.
While Etta James has finally acknowledged that recent angry comments she made about President Barack Obama were uncalled for, she remains upset over an ego-fueled controversy that’s been on her mind for going on three years.
Yes, this is still about Beyoncé’s rendition of “At Last” (a song James was well-known for performing and claimed as her own) at one of Obama’s inauguration balls (yes, back in 2009).
TodayNews24 reports that James revived the issue at a recent concert, slamming Obama for not choosing her for the performance. She told the crowd, “You know, your president, the one with the big ears — he ain’t my president — had that woman singing for him at his inauguration. She’s going to get her ass whooped. How dare Beyoncé sing my song that I been singing forever.”
Now she’s explained to New York’s Daily News, “I didn’t really mean anything. Even as a little child, I’ve always had that comedian kind of attitude … That’s probably what went into it.” She added: “[I] always thought he was handsome and he was cool. I still had my joke about him. That might be horrible. The president might not ever like me in life. [But] he’s got other stuff [to worry about] besides Etta James.”
But there was no apology for the attacks on Beyoncé, and James maintains that the singer’s performance made her feel “left out of something that was basically mine, that I had done every time you look around.”
Whether or not the comments were meant as comedy, we would encourage James to focus on that “other stuff to worry about” bit. (Truer words never spoken — this “controversy” likely won’t even register on the president’s radar.) It would be nice to see the R&B legend realize that she, too, could put her energy somewhere much more productive. A good place to start: working on leaving a legacy for fans that showcases her musical talents rather than her temper tantrums.
Read more at: TodayNews24.
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