Betty Davis was the ex wife of Jazz singer Miles Davis.
Betty Davis, the legendary funk singer, and ex-wife of jazz superstar Miles Davis died on Wednesday at the age of 77 after a long battle with cancer. Her collection of work was undervalued yet groundbreaking, and her legacy will be missed.
Davis’ death was verified by Danielle Maggio, a close friend of Davis whose ethnomusicological studies centered on Davis’ work. Maggio was a personal friend of Davis. Amie Downs, communications director for Allegheny County, where Davis resided. Davis passed away at her residence in Homestead, Pennsylvania.
Known professionally as Betty Mabry in North Carolina, Davis established herself as a regular of the 1960s New York music scene with hits like Get Ready for Betty. She recently resurfaced in Questlove’s Oscar-nominated documentary Summer of Soul, when she sang the song Uptown (to Harlem), which she penned for the Chambers Brothers back in 1967.
She was the second wife of jazz legend Miles Davis, and despite the fact that they were only married for a year, she is largely recognized for exposing the trumpeter and bandleader to the music of the era’s rock and roll, including musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, among others. Bitches Brew, his iconic jazz-rock fusion album, was the result of his following jazz-rock fusion era.