MIAMI—The renowned R&B singer, Betty Wright, died Sunday, May 10 in her home in Miami. She was 66, losing the battle to cancer.
The death was initially acknowledged on Wright’s Facebook page with a post from a family member stating the singer “transitioned to be with the Lord” and requested privacy from the public.
Wright’s niece, Bella wrote on Twitter, “Sleep in peace aunty Betty Wright. Fly high angel.”
She was born in 1953 in Miami, singing gospel for the Echoes of Joy before she switched to R&B. Also known as Bessie Regina Norris, Wright’s career launched at an early age. She released her first album, “My First Time Around” at age 14. Wright was nominated for six Grammy Awards and won one for “Where is the Love” for best R&B song in 1976.
In her 1973 hit, she displayed her “whistle register” vocals, which is an ultra-high-pitched singing style which later was used by Mariah Carey and many others in the profession. She spent most of her career producing music and being a mentor for newer artists.
In total, she released approximately 20 albums within her lifetime, most recently “Living Love Lies” which features Rick Ross and DJ Khaled. She collaborated with The Roots, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg. She also produced music for Diddy and Kelly Clarkson in recent years. DJ Khaled, Lil Wayne, and John Legend expressed their tribute to the R&B singer through social media on Sunday.