Christina Aguilera, Etta James
There was an outpouring of emotion from the celebrity and entertainment community, and certainly among her fans and music lovers around the world. As a four-time Grammy winner, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Blues Hall of Fame inductee, Etta's bluesy and often ballsy sound distinguished her among her peers. James vocal abilities and range stood out and despite a rocky career plagued by drug abuse, she was widely admired and ranks with the best of them.
Though she recorded decades of blues, jazz and pop standards, Etta James was inextricably linked to her cover of Mack Gordon and Henry Warren's ballad, "At Last," written and originally recorded in 1941 for the film score for Orchestra Wives.
James reprised the song in 1961 and scored a No. 2 hit on Billboard's R&B charts. Though the song has been covered by many artists over the years, her rendition is one of the most enduring performances of a love song ever recorded.
Etta manages to convey almost the entire range of emotions love can conjure. Sung with guarded exuberance combined with a world weary heart, James' performance paints an aural picture of someone who's resigned to loneliness, but then stumbles upon the undeniable love she's longed for.
One can only imagine the number of weddings that have featured this song. It boggles the mind.
So, you'd think with this much gravitas placed on this song, this performance, this performer, that if you were bestowed the honor of being asked to perform their signature song at a memorial service where those grieving can pay respect to a universally revered artist, you'd try your best to do it justice. Right?
Unless of course, you are the ever-expanding, self-indulgent, and apparently, disrespectful Christina Aguilera.
Aguilera has cited Etta James as having a huge influence on her from an early age and has covered her songs in concert in the past, so it's baffling why she would squander this last golden opportunity to honor this revered figure.
Rather than delivering a humble, understated performance which paid homage to James, Aguilera instead used this opportunity to indulge her arrogant diva ways by not only dressing in an inappropriately revealing top (IN CHURCH!!), but also attempted to co-opt Etta's signature song in a disrespectful manner.
There are folks who think she did an amazing job, but I gotta tell you, if you want to show respect you don't try to out-perform the person you are respecting. Hey, at least she remembered all the words, unlike when she botched the National Anthem. Enough of the look-at-me antics, Christina, cover your boobs and just sing the song like you are supposed to.
Oh yeah, and she had some sort of juicy liquid running down her leg. Gawd, really Christina, is nothing sacred?!