The music industry is in grief as the legendary soul/R&B singer Etta James has passed away at age 73, at a hospital in Riverside, California on January 20th, 2012, just a few days before her birthday. Ms. James suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and leukemia. It seems that leukemia complications lead to the death of Etta James, who apparently took her last breaths in the arms of her beloved sons Donto and Sametto.

Etta James, who received world recognition for her amazing voice and hits such as ‘At Last’, ‘Dance With Me, Henry’, ‘I Found a Love ‘ and ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’, has managed to bring closer two music genres that attracted millions of fans: rhythm and blues and rock and roll. Having won an array of awards for her music, Etta James has also made it to the 22 spot of Rolling Stone’s 100 Great Singers of All Time top.

Ms. James apparently found peace in the arms of her two sons who were at her side at the time of her death, giving them a chance to say their goodbyes, although Ms. James was unable to speak. According to People, Etta James’s son Donto said that:

“It’s been quite a day, but I’m very grateful. She basically passed in my arms, and I was able to share everything I needed to say to her, from praying to listing her accomplishments as a mother. I asked her if she heard what I said, and she’d flutter her eyes and look at me very quickly. And she had been nonreactive before that.”

Apparently, Donto was grateful for the fact that he was given the chance to be next to his mother when her time came, although he dreaded the idea of seeing his beloved mother die. He said that it was a ‘spiritual’ moment and that: “It was a true gift to be with her when it happened. I wouldn’t want it any other way than for her to go in our arms. I told her that I loved her. I said, ‘You were a wonderful mother, you did a wonderful job, your seven grandchildren love you, and they will be okay.”

Her beloved son also added that he knows that the world has suffered a loss as well, the loss of a legend. He said: “For sure, the world lost a legend today. I am very proud of her, and very thankful.”

Indeed, the news of her death triggered immediate response from celebrities who turned to their Twitter account to pay their respects to a legendary woman. Pink, ChakaKhan, Mariah Carey, Kelly Rowland, Brian Adams, Slash, Keri Hilson are only a few celebrities that wanted to say: Rest in peace Etta James!