Betty Wright, R&B Singer, Dies From Cancer

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On May 10, 2020, R&B and Soul singer Betty Wright, passed away. She lost her battle with cancer. Wright’s family confirmed her death to Essence. The singer was 66 years old when she died.

Wright was born in Miami on Dec. 21, 1953. She started singing in her family’s gospel group, The Echos of Joy. By the age of 13, she was working as a backup vocalist for other singers. At the age of 15, she recorded her debut album “My First Time Around.”

Her Beginning

Her first hit song was “Girls Can’t Do What Guys Do.” In 1972, her hit song “Clean Up Woman,” peaked at the number two spot on the R&B charts. The soon also took the number six on the Billboard pop charts.

Throughout the 1970s, Wright’s songs, “Tonight is the Night,” “Slip In and Do It,” and “Shoorah! Shoorah!,” were big hits on the radio. In 1975, she won a Grammy for her song, “Where is the Love?”

Marriages and Children

Wright has married a total of three times in her life. She married Patrick Parker Sr. and had two children with him. After they divorced she married Jerome McRae, which ended in divorce. The singer married King Sporty and had two children with him. Their marriage ended when Sporty passed away.

More on Her Career and Cancer

Not only was she known for her soulful voice, but she also mentored several young singers. In 2007, Wright and fellow R&B singer Angie Stone collaborated on the song “Baby.” This song reached the spot 22 on the R&B charts.

Last fall, Wright was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. This is a type of cancer that begins in the uterus. It is also referred to as uterine cancer. There is no known cause for this type of cancer. What is known is that it will mutate healthy cells into abnormal cells. When the abnormal cells accumulate they form a mass or tumor. The cancer cells then invade the tissue nearby, beginning the spread to other areas of the body.

Many musicians, friends, and fans reached out on social media to pay their respects. Wright is survived by her four children and various family members. May she rest in peace.

By Sheena Robertson


CNN: Soul singer Betty Wright has died
Essence: ‘Clean Up Woman’ Singer Betty Wright Has Died
Billboard: Betty Wright, Iconic Soul and R&B Singer, Dies at 66
IMDB: Betty Wright
Mayo Clinic: Endometrial cancer

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Goggins World’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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