Photo Credit: Toby Canham/Getty Images
Performers Christina Aguilera and Stevie Wonder were on hand to pay tribute to the late Etta James at the blues legend's funeral on Saturday, Jan. 28. Hundreds of James' family and friends gathered at a Los Angeles church to mourn the singer, who died on Jan. 20 after a two-year battle with leukemia.
Aguilera, 31, sang James' signature hit, "At Last," acknowledging her as "the [singer] that cut right to my soul and spoke to me." Wonder, backed by a church choir, sang "Shelter in the Rain" and an a cappella version of "The Lord's Prayer." Rev. Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy.
In addition to his own sentiments praising James' commitment to fighting poverty and her ability to overcome addiction, Sharpton read a tribute from President Barack Obama.
"Etta will be remembered for her legendary voice and her contributions to our nation's musical heritage," the President said in a statement. "I know she will be sorely missed by all those who knew and loved her."
Although Aguilera isn't as obvious a James devotee as Beyoncé -- who not only played the blues icon in the film Cadillac Records but also released a cover of "At Last" that she went on to sing at President Obama's inauguration -- she was very vocal about the late singer's influence on her career.
"Her raw tone and the passion she put forth on a record spoke to me at a very young age and has continued to influence and inspire me throughout my career," The Voice mentor said on her official website. "Etta James was a force to be reckoned with. A true gift to music and a woman of great spirit and courage."
James, 73, is survived be her husband of 42 years, Artis Mills, and her two sons, Donto and Sametto James. "Mom, I love you," Donto said in his eulogy. "When I get to the gates, can you please be there for me?"