Etta James on Beyoncé Snub: 'I Didn't Really Mean Anything'

  /  02.06.2009

Etta James and Beyoncé

Etta James is going on the record about comments she made about Beyoncé and President Obama.

The veteran singer said Thursday that she was only joking when she said, “I can’t stand Beyoncé,” in response to the pop star singing “At Last” to Barack and Michelle Obama at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball.

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

James did admit that she felt left out by not being asked to perform the song she originally made famous. “[I felt] left out of something that was basically mine, that I had done every time you look around.”

Although she liked Beyoncé’s performance, she thought she could have done better. “I think so. That’s a shame to say that.”

The 71-year-old songstress said her remarks were “not from a vicious place.”

As for President Obama, James “always thought he was handsome and he was cool.”

“I still had my joke about him,” she said. “That might be horrible. The President might not ever like me in life. He’s got other stuff [to worry about] besides Etta James.”


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