February 5th, 2009
10:44 PM ET
5 years ago

Singer disses Obama, Beyonce

Beyonce and James together at the Cadillac Records premiere.
Beyonce and James together at the Cadillac Records premiere.

(CNN) - The entertainment world may be in a swoon over Barack Obama, but one legendary soul singer is fuming at the new president and the pop star who serenaded the first couple on inauguration night.

Etta James, famous for her rendition of the song “At Last,” is apparently miffed that pop star Beyonce was tapped to perform the ballad as the president and first lady slow-danced during the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball on January 20.

“You guys know your president, right?” the singer asked an audience in Canada last week, according to audio posted on TMZ.com. “You know the one with big ears? Yeah, wait a minute. He ain’t my president.”

She then went after Beyonce: “That woman singing for him, singing my song? She’s gonna get her ass whipped.”

James added that she “can’t stand Beyonce” and that the starlet “has no business up there singing, singing up there on a big old President day, singing my song that I been singing forever.”

But is James flip-flopping on Beyonce? She did not raise an objection when the singer portrayed her in the film “Cadillac Records” - and just recently, James’s son told a New York paper that his mother was moved by the inauguration night performance.


Filed under: Extra • President Obama
soundoff (681 Responses)
  1. Randy

    Good for her did you just hear him on tv. Wow sounded like a guy down at the barber shop. What a joke, he is disgraceful. Spending is a stimulous. As a finance major with a MBA and CFA. He is very very dangerous to this country. He understands as much about the economy as a child.

    February 5, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  2. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    hihi hi.... yeah tell it to Ali Baba and his forty thieves. From kleptomaniac, plagarist, pirate thief, tax cheats and heaven knows what next.

    February 5, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  3. Anna

    To Arthur:
    That was Della Reese on Touch By An Angel, NOT Etta James.

    February 5, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  4. Dadli

    Beyonce did a great job! Etta just wanted to sing the song herself!

    February 5, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  5. Jon

    All the people saying this is no big deal are the ones who applauded when the Dixie Chicks bagged on Bush. This definitely IS news!

    February 5, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  6. Ruby Harris

    first of all my two lovely black sisters. I love and respect the both of you. you both sing the song beautifully. So dont be in dispute with each other. I hope that both of you continue to prosper and grow.

    February 5, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
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