Artis Mills: Everything About Etta James’ husband

Artis Mills

Artis Mills is the husband of Etta James. Artis Mills’ wife James was an American singer who performed in various genres, including blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, jazz, and gospel.

Artis Mills: Profile Summary

Full NameArtis Mills
Famous as husband of Etta James
Age43 years old
Date of Birth1979
Place of BirthUnited States of America
Zodiac signUnknown
Children null
WifeEtta James (m. 1969–2012)

Artis Mills was the husband of “At Last” singer Etta James. Mills was born in the year, 1979 in the United States of America. He is 43 years old as of 2022. His wife on the other hand was born Jamsetta Hawkins on January 25, 1938, to a fourteen-year-old mother who could not take care of her at the time. She had to grow up in foster care and never met her father throughout her life.

How did the couple meet and started their relationship? Mills and James have not given any information regarding the circumstances under which they meet. However, they were married from 1969 to January 2012 in a beautiful ceremony in the presence of their friends, family, and loved ones.

James had two sons, Donto James and Sametto James, born to different fathers. Both started performing with their mother — Donto played drums at Montreux in 1993, and Sametto played bass guitar circa 2003.

Artis Mills’ wife Etta James enjoyed a wonderful career, and her beautiful voice established her as one of the greatest singers of all time. However, in her later years, she battled with several illnesses such as dementia, kidney infection, and a blood infection that left her inactive.

Her primary care fell on the shoulders of her husband, Artis Mills, and a legal battle soon ensued between Mills and James’ sons, Donto and Sametto, over the management of her million-dollar estate.

Mills had approached the courts, stating that he needed money to be disbursed for the care of Etta, but Donto, who was granted power of attorney, opposed it. According to Artis Mills’s stepson, Donto, he wanted a third party to handle the transactions to avoid conflict between family members in the future. 

The legal battle started in 2011; however, in 2012, a judge ruled that Artis Mills was to remain the conservator of Etta’s estate and be granted enough money to pay for Etta’s health care on a monthly basis.

By the mid-1960s, Artis Mills’ wife, James was addicted to heroin. She bounced checks, forged prescriptions, and stole from her friends to finance her addiction. James was arrested in 1966 for writing bad checks. She was placed on probation and ordered to pay a $500 fine. In 1969, she spent 10 days in jail for violating probation.

James encountered a string of legal problems during the early 1970s due to her heroin addiction. She was continuously in and out of rehabilitation centers, including the Tarzana Treatment Centers, in Los Angeles, California. Her husband Artis Mills accepted responsibility when they were both arrested for heroin possession and served a 10-year prison sentence. He was released from prison in 1981.

In 1973, Artis Mills’ wife was arrested for possession of heroin. In 1974, James was sentenced to drug treatment instead of serving time in prison. During this period, she became addicted to methadone and would mix her doses with heroin.

In her autobiography, she said that the time she spent in the hospital changed her life. After leaving treatment, however, her substance abuse continued after she developed a relationship with a man who was also using drugs.

In 1988, at the age of 50, James entered the Betty Ford Center, in Rancho Mirage, California, for treatment. In 2010, James received treatment for a dependency on painkillers.

In the later years, Artis Mills’ wife Etta suffered from various ailments such as dementia, Leukemia, a blood infection, and kidney problems that left her incapable of taking care of herself.

On January 20, 2012, five days before her 74th birthday, Etta passed away from complications of Leukemia. Her loss was one felt by all who admired her, and although things seemed rough between her family, she died with her husband and sons by her side.

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