Singer Etta James, 72, is gravely ill, diagnosed with dementia and undergoing treatment for leukemia.
The Press-Enterprise in Riverside County, Calif., reports that James’ condition came to light in court documents as part of a civil case in Riverside County Superior Court in which Artis Mills, her husband of 41 years, is seeking control of more than $1 million of James’ money.
James has not performed on stage since early 2010 and caused a stir in 2009 when she voiced her displeasure about not being chosen to sing at President Barack Obama’s inauguration. Beyonce Knowles, who played James in a 2008 film, sang At Last instead.
A hearing is planned for Friday. James’ son, Donto James, wrote in a court declaration that he does not object to money being released for her health care. But he is asking that it be overseen by a third party, “to avoid present and future family conflict and discrepancies.”