Grammy award-winning R&B singer Etta James is terminally ill, her physician announced earlier this week confirming reports of the music legends fading health. Dr. Elaine James (no relation) told reporters the singer has leukemia, dementia and kidney disease among her “many, many illnesses.”
“At the present time, Etta is considered terminally ill,” the doctor told the Press-Enterprise newspaper in Riverside, California, east of Los Angeles. Dr. James added that the diagnosis was made about two weeks ago by three medical specialists including an oncologist and an internist from a local hospital where the singer is frequently treated.
James’s sons who are currently in a court battle with their stepfather Artis Mills over conservatorship of their mothers million dollar estate do not believe the diagnosis is accurate and say the announcement came without the families agreement.
“I saw her the day before yesterday, and I think she needs to be in the hospital. She doesn’t look good,” said Donto James.
James had battle obesity and heroin addictions throughout her life. She lost more than 200 pounds after undergoing gastric bypass surgery in 2003. More recently the singer was admitted to the hospital with numerous elements most notably a bloodstream infection. She became ill while being treated for addiction to painkillers and over-the-counter medication during her detoxification.
James has remained active in the music industry despite her ailments, and she released an album in November this year entitled “The Dreamer.”