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May 10, 2021

Betty Wright Passed Away a Year Ago at 66 – Facts about the R&B and Soul Legend

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It has been a year since music icon Betty Wright passed away. She was a soul and R&B star who reached stardom throughout the 70s and 80s. Here are tidbits of her life and times.

Betty Wright was one of the music stars who rocked the entertainment scene in the 70s and 80s. She was born to Rosa and McArthur Norris in Miami and joined their family gospel group at a very young age.

She showed expertise in Soul and R&B, among other genres. In her decades of career, Wright copped several accolades, which include a Grammy award. Here are some details about the enigmatic singer.

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SHE WAS A CHILD STAR 

According to BET, Wright began using her sonorous voice at the age of 2 when she performed gospel music with her family music group, "Echoes of Joy." She ventured into R&B when she was 11, and eventually debuted her studio album, "My First Time Around," when she was fifteen.

The years that followed were a success for the budding star. Betty made hit songs like "Clean Up Woman" Tonight is the Night," and "Where's the Love," among many others.

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SHE WAS DUBBED THE GODMOTHER OF DISCO.

In 1971, the late star released her hit track, "Clean Up Woman," and her listeners experienced a change in melody from funk to disco music.

Although Wright has gone to the next life, her legacy in the music industry still lives.

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WRIGHT'S GRAMMY WAS UNEXPECTED

Billboard shares that when the soul vocalist released "Clean Up Woman," it was a commercial success as it made it to the top 10 hit list on the Billboard Hot 100. 

At the 15th annual Grammy Awards, she was nominated for in the category of "Best R&B Vocal Performance. Although she had a higher chance of winning at the time, fellow star, Aretha Franklin took home the accolade.

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Three years after, she was nominated for another Grammy Award for her song "Where's the Love?" Her chances of winning had seemed slim at the time, but she bagged the award!

BETTY FOUNDED HER OWN RECORD LABEL

In the 1980s, the songbird launched her record label, Mrs. B Records, and according to IMDB, she went on to make smashing hits like "No Pain, No Gain," and "Mother Wit," among others. With "Mother Wit," Betty became the first black woman to own a gold record on a self-owned label.

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SHE LOST HER SON ON CHRISTMAS DAY

According to Heavy, tragedy befell Wright's family in 2005 after her son, Patrick Parker, was shot dead on Christmas Day. He was 21 years old at the time of his demise. His star mom was on a luxury trip to the West Indies and had halted her vacation after learning the sad news. 

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CHAKA KHAN ASKED FOR PRAYERS

On May 2, 2010, a few days before the star’s passing, Chaka Khan asked her fans to pray for Wright’s health. The musician revealed that Wright was in need of prayers at that time.

The late music icon’s niece confirmed the devastating news with media outlets, including Heavy. However, the “Tonight Is The Night” songstress’ cause of death was not revealed to the public.

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SHE DIED ON MOTHER’S DAY

Wright passed away on May 10, 2020, while millions around the globe celebrated Mother’s Day. The news was announced on the singer’s official Facebook page the following day. It read:

“We know that there are so many people that have been impacted by her life, love, and light; and may want to share in the remembering of her.”

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Although Wright has gone to the next life, her legacy in the music industry still lives. She was among the late stars honored during the 2021 Grammy Awards, alongside Little Richard, Jamie O’Hara, and several more.

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