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Soul legend Etta Jamesdies in California

Legendary soul singer Etta James has died of complications from leukaemia in California, her manager has said. Lupe de Leon saidthe singer died early Friday at a hospital in Riverside, California. She was 73 years old.

Husband Artis Mills and her sons were at her side, de Leon said. "It's a tremendous loss for her fans around the world," he said. "She'll be missed. A great American singer. Her music defied category."

James' enduring hits include the yearning, passionate wedding "At Last" - sung by Beyonce to President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle during his 2008 inauguration - and "Tell Mama".

The singer, who also suffered from kidney diseases and dementia, was admitted to hospital last month as she was struggling to breathe. She had been in failing health for several years.

In December her doctor said James was considered terminally ill, and she communicated mostly with nods and simple words. The three-time Grammy Award singer had also battled obesity and was addicted to heroin for many years.