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She’s long since transcended genre—she’s now a magnificent vocalist who can make seemingly any song sound as though it were written specifically for her.
Bettye LaVette’s new collection of 12 Bob Dylan songs confirms her longstanding reputation as a great interpreter; her supremely soulful renditions make us hear them anew.
Bettye is truly a ‘singer’s singer.’
Three-time Grammy nominee Bettye LaVette is no mere singer. She is not a songwriter, nor is she a “cover” artist. She is an interpreter of the highest order. LaVette is one of very few of her contemporaries who were recording during the birth of soul music in the 1960s and is still creating vital recordings today.
In 1962, at age sixteen, she became Bettye LaVette. Her first single was “My Man – He’s a Lovin’ Man” on Atlantic Records. She worked alongside Charles “Honi” Coles and Cab Calloway in the Tony Award–winning Broadway musical Bubbling Brown Sugar in the role of Sweet Georgia Brown. Her album A Woman Like Me won the W. C. Handy Award in 2004 for Comeback Blues Album of the Year. She was also given a prestigious Pioneer Award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation.
LaVette has received the Blues Music Award for Best Contemporary Female Blues Singer. She performed a critically acclaimed version of “Love Reign O’er Me” at the Kennedy Center Honors in a tribute to the Who and performed “A Change Is Gonna Come” with Jon Bon Jovi for President-elect Barack Obama on HBO’s telecast of the kick-off inaugural celebratory concert, “We Are One.”
Producer’s Circle member Tom G.