Betty Wright | Clean Up Woman

Betty Wright | Clean Up Woman

Betty Wright

So I came across this track the other day.  If you don’t recognize the sample, Mary J. Blige sampled it in a remix of “Real Love” in 1992.  The track featured Notorious B.I.G. and was the first time biggie had gone by that name.  Bambatta would also sample the track in “Zulu War Chant”.

A Little about Betty

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Born Bessie Regina Norris on December 21, 1953, Wright was the youngest of seven children to Rosa Akins Braddy-Wright and her second husband, McArthur Norris. Wright began her professional career at the age of two when her siblings formed the gospel group, the Echoes of Joy.[3] Wright contributed to vocals on the group’s first album, released in 1956. Wright and her siblings performed together until the mid-1960s.

In 1965, following the group’s break-up, 11-year-old Wright, who was already using the name Betty Wright, decided to switch musical styles from gospel to rhythm and blues, singing in local talent shows until being spotted by a local Miami record label owner, who signed her to her first label in 1966 at twelve. She released the singles, “Thank You Baby” and “Paralyzed”, which found Wright local fame in Miami.

In 1967, the teen was responsible for discovering other local talents such as George and Gwen McCrae, helping them sign with Alston record label, part of Henry Stone‘s TK recording and distribution company. A year later, Wright released her debut album, My First Time Around, when she was still 14 and scored her first hit single with Judy White’s “Girls Can’t Do What Guys Do”.[3] While still in high school in 1970, Wright released the sensual “Pure Love” at the age of sixteen.

About a year later, Wright released her signature song, “Clean Up Woman“, written by Clarence Reid and Willie Clarke when she was 17. The record reached number two on the R&B charts, where it stayed for eight weeks. It crossed over to the pop charts, peaking at number six and staying on the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks.[2] It eventually sold over a million copies and was certified gold on December 30, 1971,[2] nine days after the singer turned 18.

Betty Wright – Clean Up Woman

Mary J. Blige – Real Love (Featuring. Notorious B.I.G)

Africa Bambaataa – Zulu War Chant

And there you have it.  Betty has also been sampled by artists like SWV, Sublime and Beyoncé.  Know of any other songs that use here samples?  Let us know in the comments.

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Showing 7 comments
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