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Singer Betty Davis’ Sudden Death at 77 Shocked her Fans

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Unfortunately, we are sad to announce Betty Davis’ death and inform her cause of death. The cult funk singer passed away on February 9, 2022, at the age of 77. She was the ex-wife of jazz legend Miles Davis.

Danielle Maggio, a close friend of her, whose research as an ethnomusicologist focused on the singer’s work, confirmed that Betty Davis’ cause of death was natural causes.

Davis’ entire musical output was recorded between 1964 and 1975, yet her influence lasted for decades beyond that. Davis, a model by trade, originally made music under the name Betty Mabry, including the 1964 hit “Get Ready for Betty.”

In the late 1960s, she was a prominent figure in the New York music scene, penning the Chambers Brothers song “Uptown (to Harlem)” and marrying Miles Davis in 1968; the following year, Mabry, now performing under the name Betty Davis, would appear on the cover of Miles’ Filles de Kilimanjaro, with Betty also serving as the inspiration for Miles’ “Mademoiselle Mabry.”

Betty Davis passed away at the age of 77
Iconic singer, Betty Davis has died of natural causes at the age of 77

Despite the fact that their marriage only lasted a year, Betty is credited with introducing Miles to the rock music of the time, which led to the trumpeter’s jazz fusion phase, which began with In a Silent Way in 1969 and Bitches Brew in 1970.

You can read about Luc Montagnier’s Cause of Death and other celebrities’ life and career till death in the celebrity death section.


More about Batty Davis’ Life and Career

Betty’s self-titled first album was released in 1973 for Woodstock promoter Michael Lang’s Just Sunshine Records, despite tracks she produced with Miles’ band during their marriage being shelved.

Davis enlisted Greg Errico, the producer of Sly and the Family Stone, and a group of West Coast musical legends such as Larry Graham and Merl Saunders. They Say I’m Different, released in 1974, and Nasty Gal, released in 1975, were the next two albums released.

Davis earned a cult following for her sexuality-laden lyrics, which were highlighted on songs like “Shut Off the Light” and “If “I’m In Luck I Might Get Picked Up,” despite the fact that none of the funk albums were financial successes. Her frank, free sentiments paved the way for musicians such as Prince and Madonna in the decade that followed.

Davis unexpectedly quit the music industry after that three-year spike of material, and after spending a year in Japan with silent monks, and moved to the Pittsburgh region, where she remained for the next 40 years without releasing new music.

Davis’ music, on the other hand, developed a cult following over the decades, inspiring singers like Erykah Badu and Janelle Monae. The newfound interest in Davis’ work led to a series of archival label Light in the Attic reissues honoring her legacy, including the first-ever printing of her unpublished 1976 fourth LP.

In Rolling Stone’s Icons and Influences edition in 2021, Jamila Woods mentioned Davis as a major influence on her music. Davis’s self-assurance as a Black woman in the music industry in the 1970s.

Woods said: “That was probably one of the most inspiring parts about her story that I really latched onto over the process of creating my last project. I think I was thinking a lot about the balance of feminine/masculine energy in myself. And how I think the way that I naturally am, being in the industry I am, it asks me to step outside of that a lot, and I was trying to navigate that.”

Woods also added: “I remember instantly being struck by just the sonic quality of her voice. It’s like she makes me want to listen to what she’s saying. And I don’t think I understood the power of just that for a long time, and she really helped me internalize that.”


Her Personal Life

Betty, working as a model in 1966, met jazz artist Miles Davis, who was 19 years older and was splitting from his first wife, dancer Frances Davis, and was seeing actress Cicely Tyson. Betty and Miles began dating in early 1968 and married in September of that year.

She affected him tremendously in just one year of marriage by introducing him to the era’s clothing and new popular music trends. Miles credits Betty with helping to lay the seeds of his future musical discoveries by exposing him to psychedelic rock musician Jimi Hendrix and funk inventor Sly Stone, according to his book.

Miles said in his memoirs that Betty was “too young and crazy,” accusing her of having an affair with Jimi Hendrix, which accelerated their divorce.

“I was so angry with Miles when he wrote that. It was disrespectful to Jimi and to me. Miles and I broke up because of his violent temper,” Betty denied the affair. (According to Wikipedia.)

Miles Davis’s album Bitches Brew (1970), which ushered in the period of jazz fusion, reflected Hendrix’s and notably Sly Stone’s impact. Although the meaning of the album’s title is obscure, some assume Miles was paying homage to Betty and her pals. In fact, it is reported that he planned to title the album Witches Brew at first, but Betty persuaded him to alter his mind.

Davis had a brief relationship with guitarist Eric Clapton, but she declined to work with him.



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Reactions to Betty Davis’ Death

Several fans, friends, and supporters reacted and stated their condolences on social media websites following this tragic news.

Singer Betty Davis died of natural causes

Otto Von Biz Markie tweeted: “RIP Betty Davis, the original (and only) nasty gal, famed for being one of music’s greatest muses, but more importantly, one of the funkiest to ever do it. Her first 3 solo records are sleazy, soulful, and raw. Filthy ’70s trash talking of the best kind.”

Light In The Attic Records wrote on Facebook: “At 4:40 a.m. EST on February 9, 2022, visionary singer, songwriter, producer, and fashion icon Betty Mabry Davis began her eternal rest. 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. Betty Davis Forever.”

A fan wrote on Twitter: “Devastated to hear we’ve lost the incredible Betty Davis. Her story is fascinating, sad, and inspiring all at once. I hope everyone takes some time today to listen to her music and revel in her brilliance. #ripbettydavis

Another added: “Betty Davis legit opened my eyes to music I never knew existed as a teenager. A true trailblazer, her shit holds up so extremely well. RIP to a true legend.”

One tweeted: “RIP Betty Davis — she put Miles hip to the electric sounds and then made some stone-soul funk classics of her own in the 70s #legend

Please kindly scroll down and use the comment box to share your feelings about the heartbreaking news for tributes and prayers. Please keep in mind that the family needs privacy; please respect them during this difficult time.

We are eagerly waiting to get your words if you have more information. More information will be updated as we receive it.


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