From complications relating to her leukemia. She was one of the Women Who Mean It – meaning those tragic female singers who, when they sing of heartbreak, loneliness and longing, you know they’ve lived that pain over and over again.
From the Guardian,
“Her approach to both singing and life was throughout one of wild, often desperate engagement that included violence, drug addiction, armed robbery and highly capricious behaviour. James sang with unmatched emotional hunger and a pain that can chill the listener. The ferocity of her voice documents a neglected child, a woman constantly entering into bad relationships and an artist raging against an industry and a society that had routinely discriminated against her.”
At Last was, of course, her most famous song, but there was much more to Ms James than that.
Miss Mussel’s soundtrack for the evening – this 100-video playlist.