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Etta James to Beyoncé:

I'll Whoop Your Ass!

2/4/2009 8:15 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Etta Goes Off: Click to listenThis is not a joke: 71-year-old Etta James actually threatened to beat the crap out of Beyoncé Knowles -- and it's caught all on tape!

The war is all over Etta's song, "At Last " -- Beyoncé sang the tune at Obama's 1st Inauguration Ball on Jan. 20th ... but last week at a concert in Seattle, James was still pissed.

While on stage, Etta told the crowd, "Your President, the one with the big ears ... he had that woman singing my song. She gone get her ass whipped."

She continued, "The great Beyoncé ... I can't stand Beyoncé," according to audio from Crown City Media.

Ironically Etta didn't kick up this sorta fuss when Beyoncé portrayed her in "Cadillac Records."

Reps for Beyoncé had no comment.


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Lance Uppercut    

So much for growing old gracefully.

Consider how many younger people have been turned-on to Etta James's music by the recent bio-pic . . . and now James comes out swinging. Biting the hand that feeds her is an understatement.

Let's say you're under 25 years old and have no knowledge of Etta James (the person/ the artist) and are hearing/seeing this venomous old woman berate a current Pop icon. Real nice legacy you're leaving.

All over a tune that she can't lay any genuine claim to.

2084 days ago

CT Johnson    

I am a long time fan of Etta James' music. What a legendary voice. However, she is less legendary as a role model as she has again shown with these comments about Beyonce and Obama. Etta James has no place at a dignified inaugural ball. She has a history of drug abuse, raunchiness and vulagarity. Beyonce, great voice -- or not, did a decent job of the song and comported herself in a dignified elegant manner appropriate for this momentous event. Etta was perhaps over-medicated (or perhaps not) when she made these comments. In any event she should conjure up some classiness and apologize.

2084 days ago


I THOUGHT BEYONCE WAS STANDING NEXT TO HER MOMMA.....It is funny that I thought at the inauguration, why didn't they have Etta James singing or at least there in the audience....and now all this drama.

I can't wait till Kelly does her tell all book.

2084 days ago


Shame on Etta James, I think it's just plain jealously, because she wasn't asked to sing. To achieve her age and rant and rave about another artiste singing your song at such a historical event is mindless, mindboggling and shows the woman is an angry, jealous old hag who has not matured in her thinking. Instead of being gracious that Beyonce or anyone else would choose her song to sing at an Inauguration ball she chose to bitch, my God what is the matter with people? Then she talks about the size of the President's ears; God gave him those, that's a part of his physical makeup, could she have done better. Is there anything physical about herself she doesn't like? I bet a lot, hedging her behavior against the event that brought her cussing on, I bet she has a lot of psychological problems too, that just about anything would have brought on that poor display. Then she chooses a concert that people have paid to go to as her platform just proves that the woman has no class, shame on you Etta James, Grow Up you old Fool.

2084 days ago


STOP HATIN ON B !!!!!!!!!

2084 days ago


I thinik this is disgraceful and disrespectful of etta james making a big deal out of beyonce' singing her song. People sing other peoples songs all the time. Beyounce may have felt it an honour to sing this song by the Great Etta James. But for Etta To put down the president like she did i have lot respect for her. This is a historic moment for african americans and america and you should br proud.

2084 days ago

Ms W.    

This battle is the silliest I have heard of in the past several great a legend as Etta James is, she does not OWN the song, nor was she the first artist to record it. It was first recorded by the Benny Goodman Orchestra in about 1939, and it was a lovely, romantic arrangement. The soloist was Ray Eberle. I taught the song to myself by listening to it on a record player! Beyonce does a nice job with the song and she has just as much right to sing it as anyone else!

2084 days ago


...actually Etta James looks and sounds just like Biotche's...I mean Beyonce's mom!!!

2084 days ago


"At Last" is one of my all time favorite songs. I'm not knocking Beyonce for "Her" version, but can't nothing beat the original. Considering Bey has know idea of REAL struggle is to Black poeple over 50, who lived through much of the civil rights issues, she should NOT have song that song at the Inauguration Ball. If they can bring out Aretha, then they DAMN sure could've brought out my girl Etta!

2084 days ago


Beyonce was so nice to this "old bat"! This is the second time "old bat" that has crossed Beyonce, remember Aretha got angry when Beyonce called Tina Turner the "queen". What is up with that? Beyonce, all I can say is next time you have a project, please choose your "old bats" carefully, so that this does not happen to you again!

2084 days ago


Well, what ever happened to: RESPECT? Now, I know a famous Diva that made that song: Aretha Franklin.

Whoever was in charge of O'bama's inagural ball should be drawn and quartered...because they did not contact the real DIVA to sing that song: ETTA!! THE ETTA JAMES!!! And...Beyonce should be admonished as well for not giving it up to the true Diva of that song. It all goes back to that word that Aretha sang about so know that word: RESPECT?!!!

I'm sick that this society does not understand: RESPECT!!!

2084 days ago

don't hate the playa hate the game    

This is a perfect example of "playa hatten" I don't care if ETTA JAMES is this icon--that's up for debut anyway--How dare she talk about our President like that. The CIA should put her on the watch list so every time her old you know what goes through the airport she would need to be placed on a shakedown. Wait a minute, that would be cruel and unusual punishment to airport security.

I'm not much of a Beyonce fan. But, no class Etta should be ashamed of herself. She's so old and senile, I bet she thinks Bush was a great president. ETTA! Don't hate the playa. Hate the game. DA

2084 days ago

william darnell    

Beyonce is the prototype mediocre singer with nice face, and booty, but it is painful to hear her sing live. I don't think she has ever hit a note with decent pitch. Beyonce should be ashamed of her increasingly gratuitous videos as well. You can say Etta James is a bitter old woman who's time has passed, but let me tell you, Etta is a true legend that will influence singers and musicians for a long time. Beyonce will get credit for makeup ads, and suggestive dance moves. I agree with Etta, she should have sung that song for Obama. It was a publicity stunt by Obama to dance with the Hip Hop sex mama. I wish Etta would woop her jiggly butt. You go Etta!!!!

2084 days ago

Tony B.    

Its so sad and quite irritating to me when I see people say such horrible things about someone. If you have a disagreement adress it but be respectful about it, Swearing and belittling are the most tackiest things ever! Both women are legends in there own rights and NEITHER should disrespect the other. and that also goes for you people who leave this nasty rotten comments about Beyonce Knowles. Grow up and aquire a better vocabulary, She doing her thing so show some respect..thats whats wrong with America now, we spend so much time bringing eachother down..leave the negativity at the front door. Peace

2084 days ago


E.J. might of been wrong about Beyonce, but she was definitely right about 'big ears'.

2084 days ago
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