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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Etta vs. Beyonce

That marvelous spitfire Etta James is on the warpath and, as her biggest fan, I’m right behind her cheering.

Etta’s target is Beyonce and the issue is Beyonce’s performance of At Last for the First Couple’s first dance at the inaugural ball. For starters, I want to remind you all that I did a piece back in December after seeing Cadillac Records in which I noted that, although Beyonce is a beautiful woman with a nice voice, she ain’t no Etta James. (

After that, Mike and I watched some awards show on tv and saw Beyonce sing Etta’s signature At Last right there in front of Etta. I commented to Mike that Beyonce must be a nervous wreck having to do that in front of the living legend who made the song. The camera zoomed onto Miss Etta, and it was clear that she was politely gritting her teeth.

Then came the inaugural. We heard that the first dance would be special and would likely be At Last. Fantastic! Etta is going to sing to the President. Then we heard that Beyonce was going to perform, and I got suspicious. You know the rest. Beyonce sang At Last while Mike had to endure my rant – “Where the heck is Etta?” and “He’s the flippin’ President. If he could have anyone sing, he could have had Etta!” and then "Oh no, maybe she's ill. Maybe that's why she's not there!" And further, “Etta grew up and started her career in a segregationist world. This would be much more meaningful to her.” And again, “It’s Etta’s song!”

Well, life moved on and I got over it. Until this morning when Mike found on MSN that Etta has finally spoken out about it. Nobody ever accused her of being a shy wallflower, and I love her for it. Here’s the link to the catfight story. And for good measure, I’ve followed that with a link to At Last the way it ought to be sung.

I have one thing to say to Miss Etta: You go, girl!!

Etta, catfight
Etta, At Last

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