Another Day, Another Ailing Music Legend: Etta James Being Treated For Leukemia, Dementia

- By Bossip Staff

Another one of our living legends is going through a major health crisis.

And Etta James’ family is already wildin’ out over her money.

A court battle over the health and financial affairs of R&B icon Etta James has revealed that the ‘At Last’ singer is gravely ill with leukemia and is suffering from dementia, The Press-Enterprise reports. The news came to light in a civil case between the 72-year-old star’s husband and her son, who disagree on who should manage more than $1 million that is being put away for James’ home-health costs.

Artis Mills, her husband of 41 years, wants control of the money, but son Donto James is asking the court to assign the duty to a third party, “to avoid present and future family conflict and discrepancies.”

James has not performed on stage since early 2010 and caused a stir in 2009 when she went public with her displeasure that she wasn’t chosen to sing at President Barack Obama’s inauguration. Beyonce Knowles, who portrayed James in a 2008 film, sang ‘At Last’ instead.

The singer’s doctor declared in court documents that James has dementia, as well as an organic brain syndrome, and is currently receiving treatment for leukemia. Dr. Elaine James, no relation, said that James can no longer sign her name or feed and dress herself, but does recognize her husband and children.

She receives round-the-clock care at her home in Riverside, Calif.

In the documents, Mills stated that the primary reason he wants control of the funds is to fulfill his wife’s wish not to live her final days in a hospital.

According to Mills, James said that “if she ever became disabled, she did not wish to be placed in an institutional nursing facility as long as they had the money to keep her at home.”

The next hearing on the matter is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 14.

Mills filed for divorce from James in 2008 but backed out a few months later.


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  • I Am Legend (Allergic To Darkies)

    Damn how you and ya own dad gonna argue over who should care for ya mom /wife…That should be a no brainer let husband and wife live out their days together ..He has been by her side 41 years

    • Scooby Snax

      Yeah, but he backed out of a divorce decision that he filed. Probably because she was already showing signs of dementia back then and he saw opportunity to get his hands on that loot if he stayed married to her.

  • YokoDMV

    smh dementia is not a game..enjoy your youth

  • Mz.Elite

    man yall some ignorant, hateful, disrespectful individuals!!! its a time and place for ignorance…and all tho some of you choose to be ignorant every second of everyday..this is not the place!!!
    She’s respect….because everybody ages and yall better pray that ya cruelness don’t make any illness you get 10x worse!!!!


  • Lawd da Mercy

    I bet her husband is telling the truth…
    Her son needs to let his dad be a husband.
    As for the lunatics on her disrespecting that ill woman…
    they didn’t have to sing her song at the first black presidents inauguration, and leave her out.
    how do you think she felt?
    I pray for her health/family and love her music.

  • Beyowulf (beyonce's evil twin)

    @ms.elite no one wants to follow your pizzy smelling azz

  • Chris b

    Very Sad!!!!

  • olivia

    Poor Ms James that dementia aint no joke!! So sad all you can do now is pray for her i guess

  • Nikkaydontgiveafizzukk

    Very sad indeed, such a talented lady.
    Her son and husband are focused on the wrong things right now. Their Greed is really disgusting!

  • Hotmochagirl

    Dimentia is a serious illness of the mind. Pray that no one u know has it. Get well soon Ms James.

  • don't ask

    This is sad. Etta James was a great R&B artist in her day and I wish her and her family the best. My prayers are with her.

  • Maelina

    Mrs. James has done things in her life that some of us will never ever have to live through. She is not just a living legend, she’s also a pioneer! For her to be going through this is a true tragedy! Dementia is not a disease that you can catch like a cold many people have it for years before they’re diagnosed. I feel for her and her family. My prayers go out to them all.

  • Mabel


  • What? You can't be serious!


    Thank you for your intelligent comment! These people on here are ridiculous. Always spewing ignorant BS. This is truly a sad story. I hope eventually there will be a positive outcome for the of Mrs. James and her family

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