Gilles Petard/Redferns


betty davis drops her first song in 40 years

July 30, 2019
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In celebration of her 75th birthday, Betty Davis, the recently rediscovered “Queen of Funk” has released her first song in 40 years. Written, arranged, and produced by Davis, “A Little Bit Hot Tonight” was originally conceived in the early 1980s while she was on tour in Japan, but finally came together this year, and is performed by local musicians from her native Pittsburgh, including the song’s lead vocalist Danielle Maggio. The slow-burning, keyboard-driven song is about romance and flirtation — familiar territory for Davis who electrified listeners in the ’70s with her larger-than-life stage presence and overt sexuality.

The subject of the documentary, Betty — They Say I’m Different, Davis was extraordinary not only because of her fusion of blues, funk and rock, and her influence on ex-husband Miles Davis’s music and personal style. It was because she was a self-possessed creative force, who had full artistic control over her music — a rarity for women at the time. And though Davis is reclusive these days, she is still making her presence felt through music and contributions to the local Pittsburgh music scene.

Proceeds from the sale of the new song on Bandcamp will go to the Betty Davis Scholarship, awarded annually to a graduating senior who is pursuing music at Davis’s alma mater Steel Valley High School.