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FILE - In this April 2, 2013, file photo, singer Betty Wright performs the national anthem before an NBA basketball game between the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks in Miami. Wright, the Grammy-winning soul singer and songwriter whose influential 1970s hits included “Clean Up Woman” and “Where is the Love,” has died. Several media outlets reported that Wright died of cancer at her home in Miami on Sunday, May 10, 2020. She was 66. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

Grammy-winning 1970s soul singer Betty Wright dies at 66

Betty Wright, the Grammy-winning soul singer and songwriter whose influential 1970s hits included “Clean Up Woman” and “Where is the Love,” has died at age 66.

Wright died at her home in Miami on Sunday, several media outlets reported. Steve Greenberg of S-Curve Records told the New York Times Wright had been diagnosed with cancer in the fall.

Wright had her breakthrough with 1971′s “Clean Up Woman,” which combined elements of funk, soul and R&B.

Recorded when Wright was just 17, the song would be a top 10 hit on both the Billboard R&B and pop charts, and its familiar grooves would be used and reused in the sampling era of future decades.

The youngest of seven children, Wright was born Bessie Regina Norris in 1953 in Miami, the city whose funk and soul sounds her music would always be identified with.

She started singing with the family gospel group, Echoes of Joy, and released her solo debut album, “My First Time Around,” at age 15 in 1968. The album yielded a top 40 hit, “Girls Can’t Do What the Guys Do.”

Author: Associated Press
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