Trying to picking the best female singer of all time is like trying to pick your favorite kid or your favorite deli sandwich. There are too many choices, too many styles. The criteria always seem too exclusive.

Trying to picking the best female singer of all time is like trying to pick your favorite kid or your favorite deli sandwich. There are too many choices, too many styles. The criteria always seem too exclusive.

Somewhere on that list, though, you'd need to place Etta James, the fiery, versatile presence born Jamesetta Hawkins and known to fans as Miss Peaches. She's most often remembered for "At Last," a smash love song released in 1961 and etched into history with her triumphant, yearning refrain and a touch of breathy emphasis.

After her landmark debut album for Chess Records, James went on to win two Grammys during a five-decade career. In 2006, she recorded All the Way, which featured covers of Prince, Bobby Womack, John Lennon and others.