7 Reasons More People Should Know About Funk Singer Betty Davis
1. “They Say I’m Different” is possibly the best anthem ever for a black woman who doesn’t fit in.
Not to mention, it pays homage to the blues and rock musicians that became Davis’s influences. It has become my favorite song of hers because I can relate to the lyrics and it is one of her best funk rock songs. My favorite part is when she yells “Chuck Berry!” and his signature chords are played on guitar.
2. She did a fantastic tribute to funk called “F.U.N.K.”
From her growls and yells to the rhythm, this is an amazing song that pays homage to funk and soul musicians. It is a song for funk musicians and funk listeners alike.
3. Her voice (and half of her lyrics) is sex and unbridled passion that is pioneering.
If this isn’t evident already. Her growls, purrs, and yells can be heard in almost every song of hers. You can hear her in current female singers like Janet Jackson and Beyoncé. In my opinion, her voice is best appreciated in slower paced songs like “Anti-Love Song” and “You and I“.
4. She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind.
When it comes to this, my favorite songs are “Don’t Call Her No Tramp” and “Dedicated to The Press“. During an era when some women were expected to be seen and not heard, she said whatever she wanted and held her own in a genre dominated by men. Other honorable mentions are the songs “Steppin in her I Miller Shoes” and “Stars Starve You Know“, which are cautionary tales for aspiring musicians.
5. She has influenced multiple genres.
Her most notable influence would be with Miles Davis. According to an interview with The Guardian, Betty Davis was featured on the cover of Miles’s album Filles de Kilimanjaro and inspired two tracks. She also introduced him to Jimi Hendrix. Other influences include the hip-hop group Outkast and the independent black rock singer Tamar-Kali.
6. She is the total package: sexy, talented, and bold.
She has become one of my favorite black musicians of the past because she was a pioneer as a person and a musician. She showed women it was okay to express your sexuality and your mind. She showed men that women can do dirty funk just as well as they could (if not better). Her influence can be heard in many mainstream and independent musicians, whether they know it or not. It almost makes up for being so underrated in the 70’s.
7. There is NO FOOTAGE of her on YouTube.
The reason I made this post isn’t just because I really like some of her music and want others to do the same. I want to see some live footage of her on YouTube someday. I imagine her being Madonna before Madonna came on the scene, sensually moving on stage and singing her butt off to entice the crowd. Please, if anybody has any footage of her performing, put it online. The world deserves more than Nicki Manaj’s butt.