Bettye LaVette

Photo by Carol Friedman Bettye LaVette

Bettye LaVette is the queen of late bloomers and an inspiration to any musician whose dreams have been deferred while the demands of the real world get in the way. The Detroit native started as a precocious wunderkind who released her first single in 1962, when she was only 16 years old. LaVette never really disappeared; she segued for a few years into a career on Broadway before her music was rediscovered, leading to the stirring 2003 comeback record A Woman Like Me, which was followed by a series of excellent albums on Anti- Records. Her furiously bluesy performance of The Who’s “Love Reign O’er Me” at the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors had Pete Townshend weeping in admiration. She calls up that same soul power on her aptly titled 2015 record, Worthy.
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