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Etta James Hates Hates Hates Beyonce

Etta James Hates Hates Hates Beyonce

Etta James very publicly expressed her hatred for Beyonce at a concert in Seattle last week. (They looked so friendly together on the red carpet back in November!)

The 71-year old legendary singer said to her audience, “You guys know your President [Barack Obama], right? You know the one with the big ears? Wait a minute, he ain’t my President, he might be yours but he ain’t my President.”

Etta continued, “I tell you that woman he had singing for him, singing my song, she gonna get her ass whooped… The great Beyonce … but I can’t stand Beyonce. She has no business up there, singing up there on a big ol’ president day … singing my song ["At Last"] that I’ve been singing forever.”

Of note: Etta was the third person to record “At Last” in 1961 behind Glenn Miller (1941) and Nat King Cole (1957). Check out the rant below!

Etta James Hates Hates Hates Beyonce
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Photos: Alberto E. Rodgriguez/Getty
Posted to: Beyonce Knowles, Etta James

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  • marie


  • andamentothat

    i think she was joking

  • Quoc

    yea, I think she was joking as well…she has more class than that…she probably had too much bourbon in her system ;)

  • Sara

    I heard about this. Etta’s a little too old for a catfight. She was a fabulous singer but sometimes you have to pass the torch.

  • JJ

    Well, It IS Etta James signiture song, I was thinking , Why not get Etta to sing it?!
    I think she has every right to be hurt…

  • T

    she better be joking, beyonce has done nothing but praise her and be courteous, she even sang right in front of her at whatever awards those were


    It’s fine that she was disappointed but for a woman her age to behave in this manner is a tad inappropriate.

  • postwatcher

    Etta is right. Actually she should have been asked to sing, instead Obama went with the “trendier and younger” Beyonce.

    No matter who was the first person to write/sing “At Last” everyone knows this is Etta’s standard. It has been her signature for decades.

    Obama chose non American Citizens like U2 and Sting to perform which is ridiculous.

    I am sure both Glen Miller and Nat King Cole would chose Etta’s version over any one else.

  • Yumi

    That’s just like when Craptina Uglyera “sings” (butchers) That song!
    It just aint right unless Etta James sings it! It;s in her soul! It Is HER song!!
    I love Beyonce and all but, I’m with Etta on this one…

  • postwatcher

    ps. I can’t stand Beyonce either!

  • Daisy

    Not nice at all! She sounds drunk!

  • Susan


  • cynthia

    ‘Dammnn i hope it was a joke and Etta is so rude to beyonce :@
    Beyonce is the best !!! LOVE YOU BEYONCE

  • kiki

    Oh! Thank God they didn’t ask Christina A to sing “her version” of at last! She does it terrible! Etta James would have shot her in her face!

  • TaylorSwiftfan

    What’s up with these artists trashing the youth.

    At least try to be classy instead of coming off as some bitter, harggard “are they not dead yet” hasbeen.

    If it’s HER song then she shouldn’t have allowed Beyonce to sing it.
    But oh wait… she doesn’t own it! So she can’t do a damn thing.

    Yes she made that song what it is today and I’m sure it would have been great if she did sing at the inauguration but for her to retaliate in this way is just pathetic.

  • Ants

    She’s joking, right? I love Etta. She’s the Queen but it’s not Beyonce’s fault Obama asked her to sing and not Etta.

  • Tammy

    hopefully etta was joking. did she forget that beyonce portrayed her in cadillac records?!?

  • Ingrid

    What a horrible, hateful woman. At the end of the day, Beyoncé is the person who will come out of this fire and look good.


    It is NOT Etta James song. She herself covered it after two other people sang it! So she should shut her pie hole!! I do not recall the firs two people that sang the song first complaining about Etta. Stupid old woman!

  • susanist

    It was like asking Beyonce to sing “Private Dancer”

  • Kira

    Just sounds like sour grapes, bitterness and ALOT of jealousy on Etta’s part. How sad! I’m sure Beyonce has too much class to respond to her comments and I’m not even a Beyonce fan!

  • http://Goawaybeyonce GOOD

    Her song, her right. Beyonce is getting annoying anyway.

  • manche de pelle

    You realize this is of no consequence at all. We’ll all die anyway.

  • Caroline

    Jared this is bad reporting from you. That was not really Etta. It was a stand up comedian impersonating Etta.

    Here is a link reporting on what Etta thought of Beyonce’s performance.….once_is_sm.html

  • susanist

    Beyonce ‘portrayed’ Etta James she is NOT Etta James and that’s the point. Beyonce should have sung a Beyonce song. Again that’s the point and regardless of how many people sang the song before Etta she ruled the song to the degree it became her standard.

    Fever was sang by others besides Peggy Lee but it is her song, she came to own it. And what happened here would be the same as if Peggy were still alive and actively singing but a President would ask Christina Aguilera to sing it based on her portrayal of Lee in a movie.

    You know, a lot of people thought Etta James was dead prior to the Cadillac Records movie and in many ways she was. So this is another strike against her. Beyonce is not Etta James and she is not Diana Ross but seems to be intent on portraying these greats. Who’s next? Tina Turner?

  • So over beyonce

    Beyonce is PLAYED OUT ! It’s getting soooo old. All her videos and songs sound the same. Etta James is right. Too bad Beyonce don’t have her own song that would have appropriate to sing for the president.

  • thetruththetruth

    um i dont think she was joking..i mean why would she put herself out like that? lol

    but anyways, i agree with etta

  • Polo

    Eatta needs to calm it down, Beyonce is an amazing singer and can portray anyones songs just as good as they can!

  • hottest couple ever

    OMG!!! Is she still on drugs??? What a classless piece of s–t she is.
    She should be flattered that anyone would take the time to tell her pathetic story. I mean after all, she was an addict, and quite frankly she sounds like ignorant fool. I always loved that song, but from this
    point on, I will remember what she said, and think of her as an old washed up former drug addict.

  • mimi

    she’s joking….I think.

  • Cynthia

    I can’t stand that cow Beyonce either! I hope she sues her fat ass!!!

  • me

    hahahaa to Cynthia.

  • Keira

    I am not a Beyonce fan…but seriously? Who effing cares? She may have made the song what it is today, but it still isn’t her song. I thought she was dead by now…therefore I couldn’t care less. She needs to get off her high horse and realize that she is a has-been.

  • LOL

    This old has been bitch needs to sit down.

    I can’t stand Beyonce, but doing rag on President Obama. Maybe Obama didn’t ask her to sing because he thought she was dead, like most of us?

  • Zoe Moon

    Yikes!! I think Etta sHould have sung “At Last.” It is her song, period. You hear that song and you thing ETTA JAMES!!

  • jessalyn

    This was a comedian! This was not Etta James!!!!!! Sheesh people. Etta James likes Beyonce….

    Good heavens. People believe everything that’s on the web…

  • that’s hideous

    i’m on team etta
    beyonce is sooo annoying and does always want to be in the spotlight

  • ctx

    This lady is 71 years old so it is not a good idea to ask leading questions or for her to give her opinion. She most likely has dementia at this point and will come across as vindictive, crass and irrational.

  • luna loo

    what crazy, rude behavior. I liked Etta James (past tense) but she did not write the song & it does not belong to her. She was just lucky to get to sing it.

  • hazeleyes

    she was definetly not joking… i think she just envys beyonce because she’s still young and beautiful.. so what she sang her song? screw er ass

  • Molly

    psh… what does she know?

    how is Obama not her president anyway? last I heard she was born and lives in the US.

  • enoughalready

    She cant sue her she had permission to sing that song, and this is just a case of the old scared of the young. This is a Aretha Franklin rip-off kind of comment.

    I like how everyone wants to pick on Beyonce, just shows her greatness…

  • D

    I wish Beyonce would just go away! She tries to act so “street” when she was raised in upper middle class suburbia. She is a pretender. Not authentic at all. Etta probably sees that. I agree with Etta.

  • hazeleyes

    Cynthia @ 02/05/2009 at 3:45 pm I can’t stand that cow Beyonce either! I hope she sues her fat ass!!!

    BEYONCE IS NOT FAT AT ALL…!! why should she sew her ”ass” its not even her song either..

  • Christina

    OH MY GOSH! Etta is such a JERK!! Beyonce has done NOTHING but speak well of Etta and her career. She has called her an icon, and completely represented her in a magical way in the movie. Etta needs to shut her mouth, stop being jealous that her career is over and that Beyonce can sing the song better than she ever could, and get over herself. She wasn’t even the original one to sing At Last if I’m not mistaken. Beyonce is the greatest singer of our generation and it is time people stop hating and show her some respect. Classless Etta, you are purely classless. Stop talking, then everyone will say AT LAST.

  • jessalyn

    Ok geniuses… One more time… THIS IS NOT ETTA!!!! It’s a comedian. Get it? A comedian. This is bad reporting Jared. Etta has nothing but nice things to say about Beyonce.

  • laura

    First Aretha picked on Beyonce and now Etta? I think they are jealous.

  • jessalyn

    My favourite part is up top there’s pictures of them smiling side by side, since Beyonce played Etta James in a movie. Yet, you still think Etta James would say something like this? Clearly none of you work for Scotland Yard.

  • lakers fan in boston

    who cares
    no1 looks beyonce, she’s so overrated

  • Jess

    What?? She doesn’t like Obama? How did she escape his Kool-Aid??

    I have new found respect for Etta.