Grammy Award winning R&B singer Betty Wright died May 10, 2020 at the age of 66 in Miami, Florida as a result of cancer.
The six time Grammy Award winning artist had chart topping hits over two dozen times and is best known for the hit songs”Where is the Love”, “Clean Up Woman”, “No Pain (No Gain)”, and “Tonight is the Night”.
In 1988 Wright became the first female artist of colour to earn a gold record by the RIAA – Recording Industry Association of America – for her album “Mother Wit’. The RIAA awards an album gold status when it sells 500,000 albums in the United States.
When not performing her own music, Wright provided backup vocals for numerous artists including. Erykah Badu, Regina Belle, David Byrne, Jimmy Cliff, Alice Cooper, Gloria Estefan, Stephen Stills, Peter Tosh, and Stevie Wonder.
She has also been a vocal coach, writer, producer, and engineer for other artists including Kelly Clarkson, Keyshia Cole, Destiny’s Child, Michael Jackson, Tom Jones, Jennifer Lopez, and Joss Stone.
Mary J Blige, Afrika Bambaataa, Beyonce, Chance the Rapper, Subline, and SWV are among the artists who have sampled Wright’s music.
A vocal coach on “Making the Band” with Sean Combs, Wright had musical collaborations with Combs, Ace Hood, Big Sean, DJ Khaled, the Game, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, Nas, Rick Ross, and Angie Stone.
Her final album “Betty Wright: The Movie” came in 2011 after a 10 year hiatus and featured collaborations with Joss Stone, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, and Lenny Williams.
Wright’s music has been heard on dozens of film and television productions including “True Love”, “Speed 2: Cruise Control”, “The Bernie Mac Show”, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, seveal editions of “Idol”, “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan”, “The Kids are All Right”, “The Babysitter”, and “The Deuce”.
Bessie Regina Norris was born on December 21, 1953 in Miami. The youngest of seven children, she was born into a musical family. A young Bessie made her musical debut when she was just two years old as a part of the family gospel group Echoes of Joy.
She began her solo career at age eleven as an R&B singer and was signed to Deep City Records at age 12. She released her full length debut album “My First Time Around” at age 14 on Alston Records.
Predeceased by her third husband King Sporty, Wright is survived by her children Aisha, Patrice, Chaka, and Asher.
Betty Wright Discography:
“My First Time Around”
“I Love the Way You Love”
“Hard to Stop”
“Danger High Voltage”
“This Time for Real
“Betty Wright Live”
“Betty Travelin’ in the Wright Circle
“Back at You”
“Passion & Compassion”
“Fit for a King”
“Betty Wright: The Movie”
feature photo credit: By Unknown author – https://www.ebay.com/itm/Betty-Wright-1968-Ad-Girls-Cant-Do-What-The-Guys-Do-Atco/401561086417?hash=item5d7ee7e9d1:g:EU4AAOSwXK1bOSsE, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=90087221