Entertainment behind the scenes
At last — an end to Etta James vs. Beyonce?
James told the New York Daily News that when she advised an audience in Seattle on Jan. 28 that she cannot “stand” Beyonce for singing her song, she “didn’t really mean anything.”
“Even as a little child, I’ve always had that comedian kind of attitude,” she told the newspaper, which posted the comments on its Web site late Thursday.
A representative for Beyonce was not available to comment.
Celebrity Web site TMZ.com this week posted a recording of James “the comedian” ripping into Beyonce. The crowd roared with laughter as James said Beyonce was going to “get her ass whipped” for singing her song. But James, 71, appeared to be in a joking mood, at one point remarking on Obama’s “big ears” and telling the audience that Beyonce “ain’t mine, and you ain’t mine.” Then she backtracked and told the crowd, “I mean I made a mistake, you are mine.”
James’ raucous, funny outburst before she sang “At Last” in Seattle couldn’t be more different from the joyous but solemn performance Beyonce gave for the Obamas, viewable at YouTube.com.
Joking aside, James told the New York Daily News that she felt “left out of something that was basically mine” because of Beyonce’s performance of the song.
James’ version of the song is widely known, but it’s not entirely her song. It was written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren in 1941 and performed by the likes of Nat King Cole before James took her turn on it. James’ 1961 recording of the song received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999.