Adele Remembers "Ultimate Original" Etta James

Entertainment Jan. 24, 2012 AT 6:55PM
Adele Remembers "Ultimate Original" Etta James Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

As the family of Etta James prepares to lay the legendary blues crooner to rest Saturday, James' industry peers continue to sing her praises.

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"What a lady Etta James was. She was the ultimate original," British songstress Adele wrote on her website Monday, three days after James succumbed to terminal leukemia at a Riverside, Calif. hospital at age 73.

Writing that she'll remember the James concert she attended at New York City's B.B. King Blues Club "forever," Adele, 23, says "it's an honor every time I hear her voice."

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"Her voice was breathtaking and her songs are reflections we all recognize in some way or another," she added. "Thank you to Etta James."

Best known for her 1961 cover of "At Last," James was diagnosed with terminal leukemia in December and suffered from dementia prior to her January 20 passing. She was surrounded by her husband, Artis Mills, and her two sons at the time of her death.

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The Rev. Al Sharpton will preside over a funeral for James, her family said Tuesday. A public viewing is set for Friday at the Inglewood Cemetery in Inglewood, Calif.

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