Legendary soul and R&B singer Betty Wright, known for classics such as “Tonight Is the Night,” “No Pain, (No Gain)” and “Clean Up Woman,” has died. She was 66.
Wright died from cancer at her home in Miami, Billboard has confirmed.
Her death was confirmed by Steve Greenberg of S-Curve Records, who said Ms. Wright had been diagnosed with cancer in the fall and underwent chemotherapy.
“She was an incredible writer, producer and mentor to young artists,” Mr. Greenberg said. “It’s an incredible loss.”
Wright’s niece also confirmed her aunt’s passing this morning on Twitter.
“I just lost my aunt this morning…. and now my mood has changed…. sleep in peace aunty Betty Wright fly high angel,” she wrote.
See tweets below:
The death comes just days after fellow singer, Chaka Khan, asked her Twitter followers to pray for the musician.
Betty Wright – real name Bessie Regina Norris – has been credited with influencing popular R&B and rap music greats.
Born in Miami, Florida, she rose to fame in 1971 with her hit ‘Clean Up Woman’.
She was just 18 years old at the time. The track was sampled by Mary J. Blige on her 1992 tune ‘Real Love’.
In 1974, Wright released ‘Tonight is the Night’ which peaked at number 28 on the R&B chart, and then at number 11 when it was remodeled and re-released in 1978.
The following year she released ‘Where is the Love’, which won the 1975 Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Song. Other notable hits include ‘No Pain, No Gain’ (1988), and ‘Baby’, released with Angie Stone (2007).
More recently, the soul singer had a string of high-profile collaborations, working with the Roots, Joss Stone, Snoop Dogg and Lil Wayne for her 2011 album, Betty Wright the Movie.
In 2016, she featured on DJ Khaled’s single, ‘Holy Key’.
In total, she released nearly 40 singles in her career which spanned over five decades and was nominated for six Grammy Awards.
Wright is survived by her four children Aisha, Patrice, Chaka and Asher.