Iconic Singer Betty Wright Dies a Few Days After Chaka Khan Called for Prayers

Betty Wright

Iconic singer Betty Wright died on Mother's Day 2020, from cancer at her home in Miami. The news of her death was first announced by her niece. She was 66. Beyond performing, Wright operated her own record label, Mrs. B Records, and her own publishing company, Miami Spice. 

Two days earlier, Chaka Khan wrote on Twitter that Wright was "now in need of all your prays."

"Calling all my #PrayWarriors," Khan tweeted. "My beloved sister, Betty Wright @MsBettyWright, is now in need of all your prays."

Born Bessie Regina Norris in Miami, Florida, in December 1953, Wright began singing gospel music. She was 18 years old when she first hit the charts with the 1971 song Clean Up Woman, which became her signature songShe later recorded the chart hits No Pain (No Gain) and Mother Wit, achieving a gold record for the latter on her own label. 

Other Wright hits included Let Me Be Your Lovermaker and Shoorah Shoorah. Her Clean Up Woman was also sampled for the remix of Mary J. Blige's Real Love. The song was also sampled by Afrika Bambaataa and Sublime.  Wright also appeared on the Making the Band reality series as a vocal coach. 

In 2011, she teamed up with The Roots for the collaborative album, Betty Wright: The Movie, which featured guest appearances by Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg and Stone.

"Betty Wright was one of the foundations of S-Curve's creative family," S-Curve Records founder/president Steve Greenberg tells Billboard. "She and I worked together on so many projects, ranging from Joss Stone to Tom Jones to the O'Jays, to her own album, Betty Wright & the Roots. She was a triple threat as an artist, writer and producer and she always got something extra special out of the singers she was producing. Her mere presence brought a studio to life and she had the gift of making everyone feel confident in their ability to create something magical."



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