James’ funeral was held Saturday in Gardena, California. The singer was asked by James’ family to perform.
Aguilera came out wearing a black skirt and blazer and spoke on how much 73-year-old James inspired the singer.
“Etta wasn’t just any performer, she was a strong woman whose talent came from a place so deep it moved people in ways they never felt before,” she said. “Losing her was to me like losing a part of my soul.”
She also noted that James’ famous line “A dream that I could speak to,” meant so much to her and that it inspired her to be just like James.
The singer then dedicated a performance of “At Last” to James. “Tonight Etta, this song is for you,” said Christina. “She was the one that cut right to my soul and spoke to me.”
“Thank you Etta James for the inspiration, I love you,” she added.
She died at a hospital in Riverside, California, according to reports.
As we previously reported, James was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010 and she was considered terminally ill, according to her live-in doctor, Dr. Elaine James who is not related to the singer. James was also suffering from dementia and chronic kidney disease, her doctor said.
The soulful singer is famous for her songs “At Last,” “Tell Mamma,” “I’d Rather Go Blind,” “Something’s Got A Hold On Me,” and dozens of other songs.
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