The Gospel: Etta Squares Off With Bey...Tacky Throwdown Or Rite Of Passage?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Age truly is nuthin' but a number because Etta James is opening up a can of whoop ass on Beyonce. Or technically speaking. You've probably already heard the news on how the legendary vocalist expressed her feelings at a recent concert about Bey singing her classic, "At Last" during President Barack Obama's Inauguration Ball. If you missed the sound byte, Etta was quoted as saying:
"You know, YOUR President, the one with the big ears-he ain’t MY
President–had that woman singing for him at his Inauguration. She’s going to get
her ass whooped.
How dare Beyonce sing MY song that I been singing
forever. Now I’m going to sing it for y’all..."
Urm...Wait a minute, I smell a stinky diva concert sweat towel being thrown...didn't Etta praise Beyonce for her execution of the song during the whole Cadillac Records promo junket? And wasn't the full reason Beyonce was tacked to do the performance was because Etta was far too sick to perform at the Inauguration, or so her son said to the media? Hmm...this all sounds kind of like Etta ate some sour grapes. While it's tasteless to go after someone (especially the comments about Obama) for a petty reason, does Etta, as a singing legend have the right to be well...right? If we put ourselves in Etta's shoes, and we had some youngblood vocalist sing our signature song at a historical event like the Inauguration, wouldn't we be just a little peeved that we weren't asked or couldn't perform at the event? I know I probably would be considering how much the song molded and shaped my career, not to mention whenever someone says the name of the song, they immediately think of my performance, no matter who sang the song. Also the question I've been having since Beyonce was pegged to sing at the first dance is this, If Beyonce wasn't available to sing the song (or any song for that matter), who would've been the perfect alternative? I ran down a list of names with a friend of mine the other day and really Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight were the only relevant alternatives that we came up with. While this could go off on another topic totally, think about the state of divas at this point in time. Whitney Houston is MIA, Mariah Carey is not up to par (you heard the revised "Hero" no), Aretha Franklin already sang at the opening ceremony, Jennifer Hudson was already prepped for her comeback at a later event, divas-in-training (a la Jazmine Sullivan) wouldn't have made as big of a splash, and while Christina Aguilera would be quite fitting, it all just doesn't add up. So to conclude, while Etta was definitely out of line with her comments, who could blame her really? When you have been on top for a long time, it's hard to come back down that mountain slope you had been hustling to climb all these years to let someone else steal your spotlight....

Update: Apparently, Etta got her D.L. Hughley on and has stated her comments were a mere joke...mmkay, still "The Gospel" applies because well, it's my blog, hahaha.

So what do you think? Do you think Etta was out of line? Or was she correct in her statements? And if Beyonce wasn't available to sing, who would've been the best alternative, if any? Post your opinions in the comments!

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