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Betty Davis
Birth name Betty Mabry
Born July 26, 1945 (1945-07-26) (age 64)
Durham, North Carolina, USA
Origin New York City, New York, USA
Genres Funk, soul, rock, funk rock, glam rock
Occupations Singer, Songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1970-1980
Labels MPC
Associated acts Miles Davis

Betty Davis (née Betty Mabry) (born July 26, 1945)[1] is an American funk, rock and soul singer. She was also Miles Davis's second wife.



She worked as a model, appearing in photo spreads in Seventeen, Ebony and Glamour.[2] In her time in New York, Mabry met several musicians including Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone.

Marriage to Miles Davis

Mabry met Miles Davis in 1966 and married him in September 1968. In just one year of marriage she influenced him greatly. The Miles Davis album Filles de Kilimanjaro included a song named after her and her photo on the front cover. In his autobiography, Miles credited Mabry with helping to plant the seeds of his future musical explorations by introducing the trumpeter to psychedelic rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix and funk innovator Sly Stone.

It is believed that Hendrix and Betty Davis had an affair that hastened the end of her marriage to Miles Davis, but Betty denies this. What's more, Hendrix and Miles stayed close after the divorce, planning to record until Hendrix's death. The influence of Hendrix and especially Sly Stone on Miles Davis was obvious on the album Bitches Brew, which ushered in the era of jazz fusion. The origin of the album's title is unknown, but some believe Miles was subtly paying tribute to the woman whose intersecting relationships helped spur the album's genesis. In fact, it is said that he originally wanted to call the album Witches' Brew — it was Betty who convinced him to change it.[citation needed]

Music career

After the breakup of her marriage with Davis, Betty moved to London to pursue her modeling career. She wrote music while in the UK and returned to the US with the intention of recording songs with Santana. Instead, she organized a group of talented West Coast funk musicians to make her own recordings.

Her first record, Betty Davis, was released in 1973. It had impressive lyrics and funky grooves on songs such as "Anti Love Song," as well as an impressive list of musicians:

Davis released two more studio albums, They Say I'm Different (1974) and her major label debut on Island Records Nasty Gal (1975). Neither of the three albums were commercial successes. Davis remained a cult figure as a singer, due in part to her open sexual attitude, which was controversial for the time. Some of her shows were boycotted and her songs were not played on the radio due to pressure by religious groups. However, with the passage of time her records have become highly regarded by collectors of soul and funk music. Both Betty Davis and They Say I'm Different were re-released by Seattle's Light in the Attic Records on May 1, 2007. In September 2009 Light in the Attic Records reissued Nasty Gal and her unreleased 4th studio album recorded in 1976, re-titled as Is It Love or Desire? (the original title was Crashin' From Passion). Both reissues contained extensive liner notes and shed some light on the mystery of why her 4th album, considered possibly to be her best work by many members of her band, was shelved by the record label and remained unreleased for 33 years. After a final recording session in 1979, Davis eventually stopped making music and returned to Pennsylvania.

Material from the 1979 recording session was eventually used for two bootleg albums, Hangin' Out In Hollywood (1995) and Crashin' From Passion (1996). A greatest hits album, Anti Love: The Best of Betty Davis, was released in 2000.


  • Betty Davis (Just Sunshine, 1973)
  • They Say I'm Different (Just Sunshine, 1974)
  • Nasty Gal (Island, 1975)
  • Hangin' Out In Hollywood (recorded 1979, released 1995)
  • Crashin' From Passion (re-titled re-release of Hangin' Out In Hollywood) (1996)
  • Anti Love: The Best of Betty Davis (2000)
  • This Is It! (2005)
  • Is It Love or Desire? (recorded 1976, released 2009)



External links


Simple English

Betty Davis
Birth name Betty Mabry
Born July 26, 1945 (1945-07-26) (age 65)
Durham, North Carolina, USA
Origin New York City, New York, USA
Genres Funk, Soul
Occupations Singer, Songwriter
Years active 1973-1976
Labels MPC
Associated acts Miles Davis

Betty Davis was funk-soul singer, famous in the 70's. She was married to the star of Jazz Miles Davis, from where she took her surname.

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