Betty Wright, Grammy-Winning Soul Music Icon, Has Died At 66

Betty Wright at the Uptown Theater in Chicago, Illinois,  November 14, 1979.  (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

Betty Wright, Grammy-Winning Soul Music Icon, Has Died At 66

Another legend gone too soon.

PUBLISHED ON : MAY 10, 2020 / 11:28 AM

Written by Alexis Reese

Betty Wright has passed away at the age of 66. The 70s music icon invested her vocals into R&B and soul. Wright’s niece shared the shocking news via Twitter on Mother’s Day (May 10).

Playing a major role in the music industry, Wright’s most popular songs included “No Pain, (No Gain)” and “Tonight Is the Night.” Her 1972 single “Clean Up Woman” would be memorialized when it was sampled for Mary J. Blige’s remix of “Real Love,” going down in hip-hop/soul history. 

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Wright’s classic hit “Where Is the Love,” was crowned Best R&B Song during the 1976 Grammys, she was later named the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer for Individual Artists in 2000. 

Her riff from “Clean Up Woman” has created a life-long legacy as the cut has been sampled by other artists including SWVSublime, Willie D, Afrika Bambaattaa, and Chance the Rapper. Her first hit, “Girls Can’t Do What Guys Do,” was later sampled for Beyonce’s “Upgrade U.” 

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The cause of death of Ms. Betty Wright has yet to be revealed, though just one week ago (on May 2), Chaka Khan took to Instagram asking for prayers for Wright:

Here is what Twitter had to say to mourn the legend:

(Photo by Maciej Luczniewski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


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