feature: betty davis, funk songstress and soulful wild child

March 12, 2015

Funk songstress and soulful wild child, Betty Davis was raw, unfiltered and years ahead of her time. She oozed her gritty voice over instrumentals – seeming as soft as cotton one moment, then suddenly as sharp as a razorblade. A true sex kitten, her one-year marriage to Miles Davis exposed the Jazz trumpeter to the current landscape of psychedelic tunes thanks to artists like Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone. The marriage ended due to a rumored affair between Betty and Hendrix and the fact that Miles simply couldn’t tie Betty down.

By Cakes Da Killa, AFROPUNK Contributor


‘Shut off the Light’ from her 3rd studio release, ‘Nasty Gal’


A former model featured in spreads for Seventeen and Ebony, her sexual prowess and risqué content would lead to many of her shows to be canceled due to protests by both religious groups and the NAACP. Her liberated persona also hindered major radio play. With four studio releases and a slew of singles Betty never received real commercial success aside from penning the hit “Uptown (to Harlem)” for the Chambers Brothers.

A true musical innovator, Betty helped lay down the foundation for powerful women who refuse to play by the rules, establishing herself as a true music pioneer. – Caliel Bradshaw


‘You & I’ from her 3rd studio release, ‘Nasty Gal’ with Miles Davis


Her 1974 release, ‘They Say I’m Different’