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A Woman Like Meby Bettye Lavette
Synopses & Reviews
Acclaimed RandB singer Bettye LaVette celebrates her storied career in show business with her stunning memoir, A Woman Like Me, and her new album, Thankful N' Thoughtful.
As a teenager in Detroit, Bettye LaVette had a hit single with and#147;My Manand#151;Heand#8217;s a Lovinand#8217; Man.and#8221; By the time she was twenty, she had faded back into obscurity and was barely surviving in New York City. For the next forty years, despite being associated with legends such as Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, and James Brown, she remained relatively unknown outside a circle of devoted fans. Every time it seemed that her dream of stepping into the spotlight was finally coming true, bad luck smashed her hopes, again and again. Then, after a lifetime of singing in clubs and lounges, her unforgettable televised performances at the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors and at President Obamaand#8217;s pre-Inaugural Concert at the Lincoln Memorial in 2009 won her the recognition she had sought for her entire life.
Bettye LaVetteand#8217;s career has been a one-of-a-kind roller-coaster ride through the world of music; it has taken her from the peaks to the pits and back. In this unflinchingly honest memoir, she boldly recounts her freewheeling childhoodand#151;her parents ran an illegal liquor business out of their living room, which was frequented by some of the top acts of the forties and fiftiesand#151;her short-lived conquest of the RandB world in the 1960s, her decline into poverty and despair, and her recent comeback and career revival, with two Grammy-nominated CDs and numerous appearances on major television talk shows. Poignant, brazen, and fearless, A Woman Like Me is a tour de force from one of the most outspoken female performers singing todayand#151;and sheand#8217;s a force to be reckoned with.
"LaVette's autobiography reads like an R&B song only she could perform — soulful and honest. As a teenager growing up in 1960s Detroit, LaVette recorded a hit song, 'My Man — He's a Lovin' Man,' that catapulted her life into a crazy spiral of personal and professional chaos. Her path crossed those of Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Berry Gordy, and she describes the seamier sides of Detroit and Los Angeles while her journey through sex, drink, and drugs displays her inner strength to survive. Along with top music writers and musicians within elite record labels LaVette honed her craft, yet still remained a minor fan favorite and never became a household name. Her quest serves as one of the most authentic inside looks at the American music industry, and LaVette pulls no punches. Her dream became reality when televised appearances at the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors and Obama's Lincoln Memorial concert put LaVette on the map after a working lifetime. LaVette's tale is a treat for music buffs." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Now in paperback, and#147;an uninching and uncompromising look at a life lived across the tracks from fame . . .and#8221; (Detroit Free Press)
As a teenager in Detroit, Bettye LaVette scored a hit single with and#147;My Manand#151;Heand#8217;s a Lovinand#8217; Man.and#8221; But by twenty, she had faded into obscurity, and bad luck repeatedly sabotaged her career. Then, aft er forty years of singing in clubs, her unforgettable performances at the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors and at President Obamaand#8217;s preinaugural concert put her back in the spotlight. A chronicle of LaVetteand#8217;s incredible life, A Woman Like Me is a poignant, brazen, take-no-prisoners memoir as thrilling and fearless as her music.
Now in paperback, "an un-inching and uncompromising look at a life lived across the tracks from fame . . " (Detroit Free Press)
As a teenager in Detroit, Bettye LaVette scored a hit single with "My Man—He's a Lovin' Man." But by twenty, she had faded into obscurity, and bad luck repeatedly sabotaged her career. Then, after forty years of singing in clubs, her unforgettable performances at the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors and at President Obama's preinaugural concert put her back in the spotlight. A chronicle of LaVette's incredible life, A Woman Like Me is a poignant, brazen, take-no-prisoners memoir as thrilling and fearless as her music.
About the Author
Bettye LaVette (born Betty Jo Haskins, January 29, 1946) is an American rhythm-and-blues singer who made her first record at sixteen but achieved only intermittent fame until 2003 and her album A Woman Like Me. Her eclectic musical style combines elements of soul, blues, rock and roll, funk, gospel, and country music. Her live performances consistently receive rave reviews, and her albums The Scene of the Crime and Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook have been nominated for Grammy Awards. She has been a guest on major national radio and television programs. LaVette lives in New Jersey with her husband, Kevin Kiley, and their three cats, Otis, Smokey, and Jeremy.
David Ritz has been described by The New York Times as “the first-call celebrity collaborator.” He has worked with everyone from Ray Charles to Don Rickles.
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Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Blues