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Music soul singer Bettye LaVette pictures (pic) and photo gallery, albums covers pictures.
Birth name: Betty Haskins.
born: 1946 in Muskegon, Michigan, USA.
Bettye LaVette biography (bio):
Bettye LaVette is an American soul singer who cut her first record at 16, but achieved only intermittent fame until her 2005 record, I've Got My Own Hell to Raise. Her style infuses elements of country, rock, soul, funk, and gospel, which has prevented her from being easily marketed.
Life and career:
LaVette grew up in Detroit, where she was discovered by Johnnie Mae Matthews, an influential producer in the local music scene. In 1962, aged 16, she recorded a single, "My Man - He's A Lovin' Man" with Matthews, which became a national hit after Atlantic Records bought distribution rights. This led to a tour with rhythm and blues musicians Clyde McPhatter, Ben E. King, Barbara Lynn and then-newcomer Otis Redding, and then a stint touring with James Brown. Her next single was "Let Me Down Easy", which has become her theme song. She would cut numerous other singles for various labels, without an album contract.
An album to be titled Child of the Seventies was produced in 1972, but it was shelved and was not released until 1999. Despite drawing enthusiastic live crowds across the country, LaVette continued to be rebuffed by labels. She spent six years on Broadway and touring with the musical Bubbling Brown Sugar opposite Cab Calloway. During the disco era, she managed a small hit with the ironically titled "Doin' The Best That I Can".
In 1982 Motown finally offered her a contract to fill the void left by the departing Diana Ross, and LaVette recorded Tell Me A Lie, with the single "Right in the Middle of Falling in Love" which was a modest hit. Still her career languished, though she found steady work on the European festival circuit.
In 1999, Gilles Petard, a French soul collector, discovered the masters of Child of the Seventies, and stunned by the quality of the music, licensed the album from Atlantic and released it on his Art and Soul label as Souvenirs (2000). This led to a LaVette revival which has so far included a live album and two brand new albums, most recently 2005's I've Got My Own Hell to Raise, whose title is taken from the lyrics of the Fiona Apple hit Sleep to Dream, which is covered on the album.