In Memory of: Betty Davis (July 16, 1944 – February 9, 2022) #bettydavis #condolences #blackmusic #funk #soul #blackart #art

Betty Davis (July 16, 1944 – February 9, 2022)an American funk and soul singer. She is remembered for her controversially sexual lyrics and performance style, and as having been Miles Davis’s second wife.

Davis — who died on Wednesday at 77 — made music that felt ahead of its time, but maybe only in the sense that it came from the mouth of a Black woman who liked to wear sexy spacesuits. Her music’s central theme, desire, is eternal human life-force stuff, and Davis approached its scalding hotness as a form of truth-telling. “I wrote about love, really, and all the levels of love,” she told the New York Times back in 2018. “When I was writing about it, nobody was writing about it. But now everybody’s writing about it.” Washington Post

As a model in 1966, Betty first met jazz musician Miles Davis, who was 19 years her senior. At the time he was separated from his first wife, dancer Frances Davis, and was dating actress Cicely Tyson. Betty began dating Miles in early 1968, and they were married in September 1968. In just one year of marriage, she influenced him greatly by introducing him to the fashions and the new popular music trends of the era. In his autobiography, Miles credited Betty with helping to plant the seeds of his future musical explorations by introducing the trumpeter to psychedelic rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix and funk innovator Sly Stone. The Miles Davis album Filles de Kilimanjaro (1968), which features a photo portrait of Betty on the cover, includes a song named after her.

In his autobiography, Miles said Betty was “too young and wild,” and accused her of having an affair with Jimi Hendrix, which hastened the end of their marriage.Betty denied the affair stating, “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.” After accusing her of adultery, he filed for divorce in 1969. Miles told Jet magazine at the time that the divorce was obtained on a “temperament” charge. He added, “I’m just not the kind of cat to be married.” Hendrix and Miles remained close, planning to record, until Hendrix’s death. The influence of Hendrix and especially Sly Stone on Miles Davis was obvious on the album Bitches Brew (1970), which ushered in the era of jazz fusion. The origin of the album’s title is unknown, but some believe Miles was subtly paying tribute to Betty and her girlfriends. In fact, it is said that he originally wanted to call the album Witches Brew—it was Betty who convinced him to change it.

Davis briefly dated musician Eric Clapton, and she refused to collaborate with him.

In 1975 Davis’ lover Robert Palmer helped her secure a deal with Island Records. Shortly thereafter she released her album Nasty Gal.

Davis died on February 9, 2022, at her home in Homestead, Pennsylvania, from natural causes at the age of 77. [Wikapedia]

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