RIP Queen of Funk Betty Davis
Betty Davis (maiden name Mabry) has passed away at 77 years old. She created the space for women in music and changed it forever. She was the ex-wife of the late jazz musician, Miles Davis, but she didn’t want to be in Miles Davis’ shadow; she wanted to make music of her own. Betty Davis wrote and released three records. She recorded most of this music between 1964 and 1975. These songs were lyrically explicit and with her raw vocals, they were empowering. Her music was to later inspire other female artists. Janelle Monáe had said “She is one of the godmothers of redefining how Black women in music can be viewed” who “opened up a lot of doors for artists like myself.” Neo-soul singer Erykah Badu has said, “We just grains of sand in her Bettyness.”
She dropped her self-titled debut album in 1973 for Woodstock promoter Michael Lang’s Just Sunshine Records and the other two records after. She released “They Say I’m Different” in 1974 and a year later recorded the album “Nasty Gal.”
We will remember her for paving the way for women in the music industry, being a pioneer and innovator of her time.
It has been reported she died of natural causes.