Etta James Was Joking About Beyonce, Obama

By: Betsy Waldman / February 6, 2009

Legendary singer Etta James, 71, now says that her recent outburst about Beyonce singing “her” song “At Last” at President Barack Obama’s inauguration was a joke. Mostly.

“I didn’t really mean anything,” James told the New York Daily News. “Even as a little child, I’ve always had that comedian kind of attitude. … That’s probably what went into it.”

However, when asked if she thought she could sing her signature tune better than Beyonce, she responded in the affirmative.

“I think so. That’s a shame to say that,” James said.

She also acknowledged that she was “feeling left out of something that was basically mine, that I had done every time you look around.”

At a recent Seattle concert, James acknowledged that she couldn’t “stand” Beyonce, 27, and stated that she was going to “whip” her “ass.”

“Nobody was getting mad at me in Seattle,” she said. “They were all laughing, and it was funny.” James said the jokes were not “from a vicious place.”

As for her remark about our president’s big ears?

“He’s got other stuff [to worry about] besides Etta James.”