Miami, FL - 

Following the string of music-industry deaths of mogul Andre Harrell and rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Little Richard, a family member of longtime R&B singer Betty White has confirmed her death at the age of 66.

“I just lost my aunt this morning…. and now my mood has changed…. sleep in peace aunty Betty Wright fly high angel,” her niece tweeted on Sunday (May 10).

She continued, “My auntie was a legend…. she helped me get my first paychecks singing background….. and I didn’t make it to see you this past week and that’s going to haunt me …. R.I.P. Betty Wright,” while posting a photo of her 1989 album, 4U2NJOY.

A cause of death has not yet been disclosed.

Born Bessie Regina Norris in Miami, Florida, Wright enjoyed a career that spans back all the way to the 1950s. At the age of 17, she released the single “Clean Up Woman,” which would go to become her signature hit. Other records now considered as R&B classics include “Tonight Is the Night,” “No Pain, (No Gain),” “Let Me Be Your Lovermaker,” and “Shoorah Shoorah.”

Her music has also been heavily sampled by well-know Hip Hop and R&B acts such as 2Pac, Aaliyah, Chance The Rapper, Mary J. Blige, DJ Quik and even Beyoncé.

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According to TMZ, she was the first female artist to launch her own label in 1985 with Miss B Records, subsequently making her the first black female artist to earn gold album on her own label with the release of 1987’s Mother Wit. The album heavily popularized the phrase, “no pain, gain” thanks to the popular single of the same name.

But White’s ties to the Hip Hop community didn’t end there. In 2006, she appeared on Diddy’s MTV reality show Making The Band, serving as a vocal coach for Danity Kane. In 2011, she collaborated with The Roots for Betty Wright: The Movie, which was produced by Questlove and featured appearances from Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne and more. DJ Khaled also nabbed her to sing alongside Kendrick Lamar and Big Sean for his 2016 single “Holy Key.”

Essence reports she also was a long time member of the Recording Academy. In 1975, she won a Grammy for Best R&B Song for the disco smash “Where Is the Love.”

Stream her extensive Greatest Hits collection below. HipHopDX sends our condolences to Wright’s family and friends.

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