Betty Wright was an American soul and R&B singer, songwriter, record producer, and background vocalist. Betty Wright is famous for her singles such as “Tonight is the Night” and “Clean Up Woman.”
Table of Biography
Betty Wright was born on December 21, 1953. She was born in Miami, Florida, USA, as Bessie Regina Norris. She was the youngest and had six other siblings. Her parents are Rosa Akins Braddy-Wright (mother) and McArthur Norris (father).
Sadly, she died from cancer, on May 10, 2020, at her home in Miami. Betty was 66 years old and news of her death was first announced by her niece. Likewise, on May 3, 2020, the fellow singer ‘Chaka Khan’ posted a video of Betty on Instagram captioning;
“Calling all my #PrayWarriors | My beloved sister, Betty Wright, is now in need of all your prays. “Que Sera, Sera | Whatever Will Be, Will Be”
In Jesus Name We Pray for Sister Betty
All My Love Chaka.”
Career and Professional Life
Betty began her career as a member of her family’s own gospel group ‘The Echoes of Joy’. And started working as a backup vocalist for other singers at age thirteen. Likewise, when she was only 15 years old she recorded her 1968 debut album “My First Time Around”. And, this began her first hit song, “Girls Can’t Do What Guys Can Do.”
Further, she earned her biggest and most beloved smash success with the supremely funky and sassy “Clean Up Woman”. And, it peaked at #2 on the R&B charts and #6 on the Billboard pop charts in 1972. Moreover, she won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song for “Where Is the Love?” in 1976. More songs as “Secretary”, “Tonight is the Night”, “If I Ever Do Wrong”, “Shoorah! Shoorah!”, and “Slip-In and Do It” were reputable hits on the R&B radio charts throughout the early to mid-1970s.
Moreover, she founded her own label, Mrs. B Records, in the early 1980s. Wright had a great comeback hit with “No Pain No Gain” in the year 1988. The song reached #14 on the R&B radio charts. Her album “Mother Wit” sold millions of copies and also made her the first black woman to have a gold record on her own label.
More about her career
Wright did work as a backup vocalist for artists like Millie Jackson, David Byrne, Johnny Mathis, Jimmy Cliff, Jennifer Lopez, and Gloria Estefan. Additionally, Betty released the album “Fit for a King” in the year 2001. She served as a mentor for several young singers. Likewise, she also continued to record music and perform in concert. The popular song “Baby”, a duet with fellow R&B singer Angie Stone, climbed all the way to #22 on the R&B charts, in the year 2007.
Moreover, on New Year’s Eve 2011, she appeared on the UK’s BBC Two television channel, on the Jools’s Annual Hootenanny show. Similarly, in 2017, she was honored with the ‘National R&B Music Society’ Unsung Heroine Award at their Black Tie Gala & Awards Ceremony in Philadelphia. Furthermore, her last appearance was on the TV show ‘Unsung’ on April 5, 2020, which was a month before her death.
Many of her works have been sampled over the years by hip hop, rock, and R&B musicians. In the year 1992, she sued the producers behind Color Me Badd’s breakthrough hit “I Wanna Sex You Up” after claiming they used the sample of her live version without clearance. And without permission and sued for royalties. Later, she won her case, therefore, winning 35% of royalties for writing the song.
Betty was married three times and had 5 children. Therefore, in the year 1976, she married Jerome McCray. Together, they had a daughter. Unfortunately, the two divorced in the year 1981. Likewise, Betty was married to Patrick Parker from 1982 until 1983.
They together had two children. Sadly, their son Patrick Parker Jr. was tragically shot to death in the year 2005. She was then married to Jamaican musician Noel Williams, from 1985 until his death in 2015. They had two children.
There is no information regarding her body measurements including height, weight, chest-waist-hip, dress size, etc. Moreover, she had a pair of pretty dark brown eyes and her hair was curly black in color. She had a great and amazing personality. Her body physique was pretty good. She was a bold and gorgeous woman.
Social Media and Net Worth
She has a fan page on Instagram under the username ‘@therealbettywright’. Therefore, it is an official page for Betty Wright’s estate honoring the life, legacy, & work of Betty Wright. It has gathered over 51.1K followers.
This amazing soul surely earned a great amount of money throughout her career. However, her net worth is estimated to be around $5 million.