Betty Davis has died at the age of 77.
Close friend Danielle Maggio has confirmed that 1960s and 70s Cult funk legend Davis died of natural causes.
Davis' debut self titled album arrived in 1973, before releasing "They Say I'm Different" a year later. Davis then released her third and final record "Nasty Gal" in 1975.
While her albums were not initially a smash hit, they proved hugely influential in funk circles in the subsequent decades.
Born Betty Mabry, she also appeared on the cover of her ex husband Miles Davis' 1968 album "Filles de Kilimanjaro". This inspired the track "Mademoiselle Mabry". Betty was married to jazz legend Davis for a year in 1968.
"the original (and only) Nasty Gal"
Paying tribute to Davis, journalist Jeff Weiss wrote, “RIP Betty Davis, the original (and only) nasty gal, famed for being one of music’s greatest muses, but more importantly, one of the funkiest to ever do it".
He added, "Her first 3 solo records are sleazy, soulful and raw. Filthy ’70s trash talking of the best kind".
“Was waiting to get confirmation before sharing anything, but this is sad news. Thankful for Betty Davis, though", American poet Hanif Abdurraqib added. “The reach of her influence & sonic lineage is immense. You’ve heard her, even if you think you’ve never heard her. I’m glad we got her at all".
Other tributes also include.
R.I.P. Betty Davis...The Queen Of Funk.— Sope Soetan (@SopeSoetan) February 9, 2022
Conversations about sexuality and autonomy in music cannot be had without mentioning this woman.
A pioneer who sacrificed herself to pave the way for so many.
I really didn't want to believe this but it appears to be true 🥺🥺🥺🥺 pic.twitter.com/7902mvDkPm
rip to the great rock star, betty davis! 💔 the world will simply never be the same. forever in our hearts, minds, and influence. pic.twitter.com/BxnJmPrKmD— maya cade (@mayascade) February 9, 2022
Betty Davis. July 26, 1946 - February 9, 2022. Rest well my Sister. pic.twitter.com/qLyQApXZQV— Bonita Lee Penn (@TheWritingPenn) February 9, 2022