A few Sundays ago Darren, Stuart and I went to see the legendary Betty Wright at the Barbican Hall in London's glitzy Barbican Centre.
From the moment she took to the stage, she looked and sounded the part. Sporting Chaka Khan-style glittery threads, extravagant thigh-length boots and a cascading mass of hair that probably needed its own hotel suite. A grandmother many times over, she chatted amiably about her career and, hailing from steamy Florida, cheerfully mocked British ideas of what constitutes a heatwave (“This is hot weather for y’all?” she asked incredulously).
Betty's voice was pure gold too. That lady can sure bang out a tune.
Perhaps most famous for her hits "Clean Up Woman", "Tonight is the Night", "Girls Can't Do What The Guys Do" and "Pain", Ms Wright first emerged on the music scene at the tender age of 14 with her 1968 album "My First Time Around". Since then, with an extraordinary voice honed singing in her family gospel choir, she had hits in the 70s, has been sampled by the likes of Mary J Blige, Afrika Bambaataa, Beyonce and Snoop Dogg, before her re-emergence in the 80s as an independent singer and label boss.
Wright continued recording through the 90s and is today an icon to a new generation of soul and RnB singers ranging from Angie Stone to Mary J. Blige to Joss Stone.
We sang along, we danced, we marvelled in her reflected glory. She is one of soul music's true greats... Miss Betty Wright.