Betty Davis, Funk and Soul Icon, Dead at 77

Betty Davis
Fin Costello/Redferns

'There is no other,' the singer's friend, Connie Portis, said in a statement.

Betty Davis has died. The funk singer and ex-wife of Miles Davis died early Wednesday morning in Homestead, Pennsylvania, according to a press release. She was 77. 

Rolling Stone was the first to report the news.

"It is with great sadness that I share the news of the passing of Betty Davis, a multi-talented music influencer and pioneer rock star, singer, songwriter, and fashion icon," Davis' longtime friend, Connie Portis, said in a statement. "Most of all, Betty was a friend, aunt, niece, and beloved member of her community of Homestead, Pennsylvania, and of the worldwide community of friends and fans."

"At a time to be announced, we will pay tribute to her beautiful, bold, and brash persona," Portis added. "Today we cherish her memory as the sweet, thoughtful, and reflective person she was...There is no other."

Davis graduated from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and went on to work as a model, appearing in Glamour and Seventeen, and working for designers including Halston and Betsey Johnson.

She married Miles Davis, nearly two decades her senior, in 1968. They divorced the following year. Davis recorded most of her music catalogue between 1964 and 1975, releasing her self-titled debut album in 1973. She was known for songs including 1973's "If I'm in Luck I Might Get Picked Up" and 1975's "Shut Off the Lights."

Davis' music was featured in television series such as Orange Is the New BlackGirlbossMixed-ish and High Fidelity. She was the subject of a 2017 documentary film, Betty: They Say I'm Different.

With Davis' support, Light in the Attic Records has worked to revive her catalogue of music via reissues. In late 2022, Light in the Attic will reissue Davis’ final, and personal favorite, studio album Crashin’ From Passion.

"Our hearts are incredibly heavy today," Light in the Attic's Matt Sullivan said in a statement. "Betty has been the guiding light in everything we do at Light in the Attic. Her unbending DIY ethic and groundbreaking spirit will live on forever. We are going to miss her so much."