Betty Wright

Betty Wright (born December 21, 1953, in Miami, Florida) is a soul and R&B singer, who influenced a generation of female singer-songwriters and also influenced the world of hip hop, who sampled some of her more famous material. Born singing gospel with the family group, the Echoes of Joy, Wright began switching to R&B music in 1965 when she was only 11. In 1968, she released her first album, My First Time Around, at the age of 15, and scored her first hit, Girls Can't Do What Guys Can Do. But it was not until the end of 1971 that Wright's most successful phase of her career took place. The song, Clean Up Woman, became a Top 5 pop and R&B hit, and would later influence a remix of Mary J. Blige's Real Love single with the sample of its guitar riffs; R&B girl group trio SWV's I'm So Into You also featured a sample from Clean Up Woman, as did Afrika Bambaataa's song Zulu War Chant. In 1974, Wright scored big with the songs Tonight is the Night (about a real-life love affair that happened with Wright when she was a teenager) and Where is the Love (which won her a Grammy for Best R&B Song). After experiencing a brief slump in the early 1980s, she rebounded founding her own record label, Ms. B Records, and in 1988 made music history by being the first woman to have a gold record on her own label, with the release of Mother Wit, which featured two of her biggest hits in years, No Pain No Gain and the After The Pain. On both songs, Wright displays her powerful upper register capabi...

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