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Sadly, we must report that Betty Davis, the ex-wife of jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, died Wednesday. She was 77
Davis’ longtime friend Connie Portis confirmed the news in a Facebook post
“It is with great sadness that I share the news of the passing of Betty Davis, a multi-talented music influencer, pioneer rock star, singer, songwriter, arranger, model, and fashion icon,” Portis wrote. “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.”
Speaking of Homestead, near Pittsburgh, which is in Allegheny County, Amie Downs, communications director for Allegheny County, revealed that her cause of death was from natural causes.
Vulture notes that Davis moved back to Homestead where she had grown up, after her music career.
“During that time many thought she was in hiding and did not want to be found. This is not true,” Portis wrote in her Facebook post. “Betty was receiving help to find a balance in her life while continuing to write music and oversee her music business.”
Betty became Miles’ second wife in 1968 after he split from dancer Francis Davis. He was 19 years her senior and the two began dating two years earlier when she started her career as a model. They were only married a year.
Davis was known for singing hits such as “Get Ready for Betty,” “It’s My Life,” “If I’m in Luck I Might Get Picked Up” and many more. Davis also wrote the Chambers Brothers song “Uptown (to Harlem).”
Davis dropped her self-titled debut album in 1973 for Woodstock promoter Michael Lang’s Just Sunshine Records and two more records followed. She released “They Say I’m Different” in 1974 and a year later recorded the album “Nasty Gal.”
She spoke candidly to the New York Times about exiting the music business in 2018, saying: “When I was told that it was over, I just accepted it. And nobody else was knocking at my door.”
Her life was the focus of the 2017 documentary “Betty: They Say I’m Different” and later released her first song in 40 years, “A Little Bit Hot Tonight.”