Published May 10, 2020Iconic R&B singer Betty Wright — born Bessie Regina Norris — has passed away at her Miami home today following a battle with cancer, as confirmed by Billboard. The artist was 66 years old.
The youngest of seven children, Wright was born in 1953 in Miami and began her career in music at the young age two, singing backup vocals with her siblings in their gospel group, Echoes of Joy. In 1967 at the age of 14, Wright began her solo recording career and later released her debut album My First Time Around in 1968.
Wright released her hit song "Clean Up Woman" in 1971. That track has been sampled multiple times by contemporary artists including Chance the Rapper and Mary J. Blige, among dozens of others. Her 1968 single "Girls Can't Do What Guys Do" was sampled in Beyoncé's 2006 hit, "Upgrade U."
In addition to her solo career, Wright was also a prolific background vocalist and was featured on tracks by Stevie Wonder, Peter Tosh, Alice Cooper, Erykah Badu and many others. In 2016, the artist featured on DJ Khaled's Major Key single, "Holy Key" alongside Kendrick Lamar and Big Sean.
Watch Wright perform her hit "Clean Up Woman" below.