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    The Artistry Of ... Etta James

    Jamesetta Hawkins was her birth name. Drug addiction challenged her life and career. I wonder, with some great artists, if it is the very challenge of the struggle against adversities and vulnerabilities that brought out, and brings out, the signature depth of their soulful output and expression? I cannot even begin to get my mind around the dynamics of her early life. She was born to a teenage mother whose wisdom shone in this bit of artistic advice. Etta was quoted as saying, 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. There is no doubt that advice stuck. She brought her own to every song a thousand times over.

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