Betty Davis paved the way in which for a brand new era of up-and-coming pop stars like Prince, Madonna, and Janet Jackson.
WASHINGTON — Betty Davis, the trailblazing funk singer and trend icon and ex-wife of jazz legend Miles Davis, has died on the age of 77.
According to multiple media reports, Davis died early Wednesday morning in Homestead, Pennsylvania, the place she’d lived since childhood. A longtime friend told NPR that Davis was just lately identified with most cancers.
Davis was a trailblazer for musicians — notably Black artists — when in 1973 she wrote, organized and produced her personal music for her self-titled debut solo document, a rarity in that period. She launched two extra information: 1974’s They Say I’m Different and 1975’s Nasty Gal. In 2009, her document Is It Love or Desire? was launched greater than 30 years after it was initially recorded in 1976.
Despite her musical ingenuity, Davis’ songs by no means noticed in depth limelight on the charts. Just two of her singles made it on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart: the No. 66-peaking 1973 single “If I’m In Luck I Might Get Picked Up” and the 1975 single “Shut Off the Lights,” which simply barely bought on the chart at No. 97.
Still, Davis’ influence is plain: her eccentric outfits, funky rifts and distinctive bravado paved the way in which for a brand new era of up-and-coming pop stars like Prince, Madonna, and Janet Jackson.
She married Miles Davis in 1968. In his autobiography, he credit Betty with exposing him to musicians like Jimmy Hendrix and Sly Stone, serving to to plant the seeds of his future musical explorations.
However, their marriage was short-lived, and Betty said in a 2010 interview with The Observer that she and Miles “broke up because of his violent temper.”
At the top of the 70s, Davis largely retreated from public life, making few public appearances and solely hardly ever granting interviews to the press. She moved to Pittsburgh and by no means once more recorded new music.
“When I was told that it was over, I just accepted it,” Davis instructed the New York Times in 2018. “And nobody else was knocking at my door.”
In 2007, document label Light within the Attic started a marketing campaign of rereleasing Davis’ albums. In a press release distributed after her dying, the label stated it has plans to reissue her ultimate album, Crashin’ From Passion, later in 2022.