Funk icon Betty Davis dies at 77

Funk icon Betty Davis dies at 77

Singer, songwriter, producer and pioneer of '70s funk Betty Davis has died aged 77. 

She recorded three albums in the '70s – 1973’s Betty Davis, 1974’s They Say I’m Different and 1975’s Nasty Gal – through which she became known for her explicit lyrics and sensuous performances.

She was the second wife of Miles Davis, who she married in 1968 and spent a tumultuous year with, choosing to keep her married name after they separated. 

Davis left the music industry after recording her last album Crashin’ From Passion in 1979. She moved to Pittsburgh and never recorded any more music, preferring to stay out of the limelight.

Connie Portis, Davis’ friend of 65 years, said: “It is with great sadness that I share the news of the passing of Betty Davis, a multi-talented music influencer and pioneer rock star, singer, songwriter, and fashion icon. Most of all, Betty was a friend, aunt, niece, and beloved member of her community of Homestead, Pennsylvania, and of the worldwide community of friends and fans. At a time to be announced, we will pay tribute to her beautiful, bold, and brash persona. Today we cherish her emory as the sweet, thoughtful, and reflective person she was... There is no other.”

Davis died in Homestead, Pennsylvania, where she had lived since the age of 10.

Light in the Attic’s label boss Matt Sullivan said: “Our hearts are incredibly heavy today. Betty has been the guiding light in everything we do at Light in the Attic. Her unbending DIY ethic and groundbreaking spirit will live on forever. We are going to miss her so much.”

Photo: Robert Brenner

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