Ward sings James' "Waiting For Charlie (To Come Home)" in this latest installment of the Women In Music-themed Candid Covers series.
The late, great Etta James was known for hits like "At Last," "Trust In Me" and "A Sunday Kind of Love," but singer-songwriter ZZ Ward connected with one of the legend's lesser known hits, "Waiting For Charlie (To Come Home)." Watch below as the rising artist whose childhood -- and current career -- were influenced by the timeless stylings of the blues legend.
"The first time I ever heard Etta James, I was like, 'What is this?'" the Oregon native tells Billboard, recalling the small moment when James helped to shape the big picture for Ward and her musical career. "She just had such a strong voice with so much heartache and sincerity."
"Waiting For Charlie" was one of Ward's favorite James songs when she was growing up and developing her own artistic voice. For Billboard's Candid Covers series, Ward opted to put her unique spin on the track, injecting rustic acoustic elements into the composition while paying homage to James' soulful vocals.
"'Waiting For Charlie' was not her most popular song," Ward points out, "but it's so haunting, and the emotion when she sings that song is so strong."
With her debut album, "Til The Casket Drops," released in October on Hollywood Records, Ward has also been given a strong original platform to showcase her alternative pop aesthetic. The singer-songwriter will be supporting the album with select shows across the U.S. through March 2013.