The legendary soul singer Etta James is not dead - despite being the subject of an online hoax on Thursday (4th July 2011) that suggested she had passed away in Southern California, reports NME.com.
The hoax began circulating social networking sites earlier today, after one user posted a link to a fake Tmz story reporting the 'At Last' hit maker's death. Although the news proved to be a fake, James has been suffering from ill health in recent months and was diagnosed with dementia in January. She is also receiving treatment for leukaemia, and is now said to need help with eating and dressing. A multiple Grammy Award winner who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, Etta began singing at church in early teens. Her career was temporarily blighted by a heroin addiction in the 1960's, but she later became clean and continued to release albums on a regular basis. Best known for her 1961 hit 'At Last', James was played by R&B star Beyonce in the 2008 movie 'Cadillac Records'.
The singer has two sons, Donto and Sametto, both of whom began performing with their mother in 2003.