"This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world," her manager and friend Lupe De Leon said. "She was a true original who could sing it all -- her music defied category." De Leon is correct. James produced hits like "Something's Got a Hold on Me" and "The Wallflower". Southern California's 89.3 KPCC, has a great anecdote about the latter, "The Wallflower", that's just one part of a very-detailed and thoughtful story on the singer's life:
“During those days you weren't allowed to say ‘roll’ because roll was like a vulgar word. You know, think about it. They would probably burn Prince at the stake! What we had to do was sell it underground and change the title to ‘Wallflower’ so that all the kids could go buy it and listen to it," she said.
And of course, James will always be known for the version of "At Last", one of the most recognizable love songs in music history.
As De Leon and our commenter Edward E point out, James' voice defied genres:
And a personal favorite from your blogger (yes, un-PC lyrics and all):
For a catalog of James' best hits, and there are plenty of them, head on over to Spotify.
(We'll be updating this post as more news comes in.)