Etta James Dies

Etta James Dies
GRAMMY winner and Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Etta James died Jan. 20 in Riverside, Calif., following complications from kidney failure, leukemia and dementia. She was 73. With a career that spanned nearly six decades, James has been cited as an influence by artists such as Christina Aguilera, Melissa Etheridge and the late Janis Joplin. After landing a record deal with Chess Records in 1960, James released 1961's At Last!, which spawned four Billboard Hot 100 Top 50 hits, including the title track and "All I Could Do Was Cry." The latter recording garnered the artist her first GRAMMY nomination for Best Rhythm & Blues Performance. James went on to release several albums that charted in the Top 50 on Billboard's Top Jazz and Blues Albums charts, including 1994's Mystery Lady: Songs Of Billie Holiday, which earned the singer her first GRAMMY win for Best Jazz Vocal Performance. James subsequently won GRAMMYs for Best Contemporary Blues Album for Let's Roll (2003) and Best Traditional Blues Album for Blues To The Bone (2004). Two of James' recordings have been inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame: "At Last" (1999) and "The Wallflower" (aka "Roll With Me Henry") (2008). Her most recent release, 2011's The Dreamer, peaked at No. 4 on the Top Blues Album chart. (1/20)

File-Sharing Site Megaupload Closed
File-sharing website Megaupload was shuttered Jan. 19 by federal prosecutors after its founder, Kim Schmitz, and several company executives were charged in violation of piracy laws. An indictment cited Megaupload as costing copyright holders more than $500 million in lost revenue from pirated content. Prior to closing, Megaupload released a statement saying the allegations were "grotesquely overblown." In related news, in a reported retaliation to Megaupload's takedown, hacker group Anonymous came forward on Jan. 19 after having disabled several websites, including the Department of Justice, the Motion Picture Association of America, RIAA, and Universal Music Group, among others. While most of the hacked sites were reportedly back online on Jan. 20, the FBI is investigating the incidents. (1/20)

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