Etta James

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

At last some good news for Etta James.

The 73-year-old blues icon is breathing on her own, after she was previously placed on a respirator Dec. 21. 

"The hospital is preparing Etta for release from ICU to a step down unit," James's manager, Lupe De Leon, told Reuters. "She is stable and breathing on her own. Her blood pressure is normal."

The ailing singer, who has been in and out of the hospital this year, has been battling leukemia, dementia and kidney failure for several years and is considered to be terminally ill.

James was hospitalized most recently last week after she had difficulty breathing.

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