Etta James has finally passed away after some real health struggles. She was 73. “At Last” is her signature song, but “Tell Mama” is really just as good if not better. Etta had a hard early life, like most R&B singers. She never made a lot of money. Because there’s no performance rights royalty, her songs–“At Last” especially– have just been played and played for free a zillion times all over the galaxy. This means she had to tour and tour and tour, find gigs, well beyond the time any adult should have to keep getting on a bus in the middle of the night and traversing the countryside. She joins dozens and dozens of R&B giants whom we all mourn when they die, but who were not properly rewarded during their lives. We only lost Johnny Otis the other day. “At Last” will just go on and on into infinity–you’re hearing it now somewhere, no doubt. So Etta, like her compatriots, must have been a saint to give the world entertainment and love for free.