About Betty Wright
In a career spanning more than four decades, legendary soul singer Betty Wright recorded timeless hits like 1971’s “Clean Up Woman” and produced records for some of the younger artists who followed in her footsteps.
• Born in Miami, Wright started her music career at age two, singing in the gospel group Echoes of Joy with her siblings.
• Wright released her debut album, 1968’s My First Time Around, when she was 14. It included the Top 40 pop hit “Girls Can Do What the Guys Can Do,” written by the songwriting team of Clarence Reid (aka Blowfly) and Willie Clarke, who would become frequent collaborators.
• Reid and Clark wrote Wright’s biggest pop crossover hit, 1971’s “Clean Up Woman.” The single landed at No. 6 on the pop charts and earned Wright a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female.
• Wright released a successful run of albums through the ’70s, including 1978’s Betty Wright Live, a victory lap that featured a popular version of “Tonight Is the Night.” In 1976, she won the Grammy for Best R&B Song for “Where Is the Love?”, which she cowrote.
• In 1985 she launched her own label, Ms. B Records, where she continued to release her own music and produce for other artists.
• She arranged the harmonies on Gloria Estefan’s 1991 single “Coming Out of the Dark,” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
• Wright cowrote and coproduced every song on English soul revivalist Joss Stone’s Grammy-nominated 2004 album Mind Body & Soul, and she appeared on Lil Wayne’s “Playing with Fire,” off 2008’s Tha Carter III.
• Her 2011 album Betty Wright: The Movie, recorded with The Roots, would be her final studio LP before her death in 2020.
BORNDecember 21, 1953