PHILADELPHIA â€“ As legendary blues singer Etta James is laid to rest tomorrow in Los Angeles, the Rhythm & Blues Foundation wishes to express its sorrow at the loss of â€œour friend and Rhythm & Blues Pioneerâ€ and its deep appreciation to her family, which is asking for all donations to be made out to the organization. All contributions in her memory go to the Doc Pomus Fund to help artists in need of financial or medical assistance.
A recipient of the R&B Foundationâ€™s first Pioneer Awards ceremony in 1989, Etta James also served on the Board of Directors of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation during the formative years. A statement from Damon Williams, Chairman of the R&B Foundation reads:
â€œEttaâ€™s lifelong contributions to Rhythm & Blues music have paved the way for generations of artists, and we are grateful to her family for furthering her impact by selecting our organization as the recipient of memorial contributions to help our mission to preserve and celebrate the music and its artists. Etta James was a one-of-a-kind artist with a one-of-a-kind voice; she was an absolute Rhythm & Blues Pioneer. Etta was part of the fabric and spirit in which the Rhythm & Blues Foundation was built on. Awarding Etta James the Rhythm & Blues Foundationâ€™s Pioneer Award in 1989 was one of the finest moments in our mission to celebrate the legacy of Rhythm &Blues artists. Our hearts go out to Etta Jamesâ€™ family and her long time manager, Lupe De Leon.â€
The Rhythm & Blues Foundation is the only non-profit organization solely dedicated to preserving Rhythm & Blues music and celebrating the artists who create it. www.rhythm-n-blues.org.
The Rhythm & Blues Foundationâ€™s Pioneer Awards Program has recognized over 150 legendary artists whose lifelong contributions have been instrumental in the development of Rhythm & Blues music. The award honors the career achievements of solo artists, vocal groups, songwriters and producers who are nominated and selected by members of our board of directors. As part of the Pioneer Awards, most recipients receive an honorarium. Since 1989, the Pioneer Awards Program has given over $1.5 million to worthy honorees and will continue to celebrate legendary Rhythm & Blues artists.
Contributions to the Rhythm and Blues Foundation can be sent to:
Rhythm & Blues Foundation
P.O. Box 22438
Philadelphia, Pa. 19101