Did you know about Betty Davis?

Blog, Music, Women to love

Because I didn’t – and I wonder how that happened!?


Born in 1945 Betty Davis is an American funk and soul singer (that doesn’t describe it right/do her justice) who was making music and performing in the 1960s and 1970s.

Her music is sexy, powerful, unique, gigantic, unapologetic, empowering and all the rest of the adjectives.

She grew up in Pittsburgh on her Grandma’s farm and apparently she wrote her first song at 12 years old. She then moved to New York at 16 to live with her aunt. While there, she’s said to have been a frequenter come hostess/DJ at Greenwich Village’s nightclub The Cellar in New York – were she was pals with musical greats such as Hendrix . Towards the late 60s she started recording songs at Colombia Records.

She was born Betty Mabry but had a year long marriage to Miles Davis giving her the name Betty Davis. There’s a truck load of conjecture around their relationship but, who knows? (And less about the men she laid and more the music she made huh).

After their split she did a brief stint in London to pursue her modelling career – have ya seen her! Then returned to the US to make the music I’m now listening to.


Three albums were released by Light in The Attic Records – Betty Davis (1973), They say I’m Different (1974) and Nasty Gal (1975). And they’re blowing my mind.

She’s repeatedly described as ahead of her time. And a truck ton of artists are said to have stolen from her and been influenced by her.

Apparently she was a stupendous stage presence but I unfortunately haven’t been able to find any footage.  Though people are currently crowd funding to make a documentary about her life called Nasty Gal: The many lives of funk Queen Betty Davis which, here’s hoping, gets made.

I really really super recommend you check her out (if ya fancy). Here’s some of my faves so far:

Nasty Gal: an amazing example of Davis at her best.

Anti-love song: this sounds so good and is Davis at the most vulnerable I’ve heard. ‘That’s why I don’t wanna love you, cause I’d know what you’d do to my heart’.

Don’t call her no tramp: which is basically a feminist anthem ‘you can call her trendy, and superficial, an elegant hustler – but don’t you call her no tramp’.

Dedicated to the Press: a response to negative press she was receiving for being unapologetically herself.

Hope you click and enjoy!