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Betty Wright, Grammy-Winning R&B Singer, Dies at 66

Wright became a star of the ’70s soul scene with her song ”Clean Up Woman“

Betty Wright, the R&B and soul singer who released songs like “Clean Up Woman” and “Tonight Is the Night” died on Sunday at the age of 66, her niece confirmed on Twitter.

“My auntie was a legend…. she helped me get my first paychecks singing background,” Wright’s niece wrote on Twitter. “And I didn’t make it to see you this past week and that’s going to haunt me …. R.I.P. Betty Wright.”

Born in Miami, Wright got her start by singing in her family’s gospel group, Echoes of Joy, before getting a job as a backup singer as a teenager. She released her debut album “My First Time Around” in 1968, and four years later, she released her breakthrough single “Clean Up Woman,” which stayed on the Billboard charts for over three months and was certified gold in 1971.

Some of Wright’s top hits also include her Grammy-winning 1974 song “Where Is the Love?” and the 1981 single “What Are You Going to Do With It,” which was produced by Stevie Wonder. Along with recording albums through 2011, Wright also served as a background singer and guest vocalist for dozens of artists like Stephen Stills, Peter Tosh and Gloria Estefan, as well as with rappers like Nas, Ace Hood and Rick Ross.