Over the years, critics, fans and musicians alike have recognized Leela James’ extraordinary gifts as a vocalist, storyteller and keeper of the great soul tradition. Leela had the distinction of being selected to duet with Ray Charles on a version of Les McCann's "Compared To What" on the posthumously-released Ray Charles album Genius and Friends and was a guest vocalist on Robert Randolph And The Family Band's 2006 album Color Blind, proving that her talent ranges across many musical genres. She also toured Japan and was invited to perform with singer/songwriter John Legend in South Africa. In 2009, Leela made her Shanachie Entertainment debut with the well received Let’s Do it Again, which is a celebration of the enduring power of soul music and assertion of its contemporary relevance for a new generation. With her raw soulful voice, high-energy performances and wild-child image, Leela is in many ways the "Etta James" of her generation, with some comparing Leela directly to the soul legend. But the connection goes even deeper. It turns out that Leela acquired her performing name of "James" because when she was a little girl singing in church and other events, adults said she sounded like Etta James.This Summer 2012, Shanachie Entertainment will release the highly anticipated Leela James tribute to Etta, In The Spirit of Etta James, which will be produced in Nashville by Grammy-winning producers Shannon Sanders and Drew Ramsey, who together and separately have produced hits for India. Arie, John Legend, Jonny Lang, Heather Headley and Anthony David, among others.