“I’m very aggressive on stage, and men usually don’t like aggressive woman. They usually like submissive women, or woman that pretend to be submissive.”
Betty Davis is a 60s-late 70s funk, R&B, and soul singer who was known for her free expression. Davis is the first NastyGal, known for her progressive, carefree image that was too advanced for the misogynistic media. Before becoming a singer and lyricist, Davis was one of the few international models of color at the Wilhelmina Agency. As an artist, she stood bravely in her female sexuality. She was fearless, unique and daring. Betty is responsible for Miles Davis’ experimental phase; she introduced him to new fashion and music trends. She is the force behind Miles’record, Filles de Kilimanjaro (featured Betty’s face as the cover) and Bitches Brew (M. Davis’s first gold record). Betty was ahead of her time with her sex-positive lyrics and raunchy stage presence. She stepped out of the boundaries of the submissive woman.
Betty Davis deserves a great amount of acknowledgment. She created her own genre, influenced Miles Davis’ reimaging , fueled M. Davis’ creation of Jazz Fusion, introduced him to Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, and Sly Stone,wrote songs for the Chambers Brothers and the Commodores, inspired the NastyGal brand and most importantly cracked the barrier for women in music to assert their sexuality freely.
Without her, we wouldn’t have artists like Lenny Kravitz, Peaches, JDavey, Outkast, Madonna, Erykah Badu, Prince (RIP), or Beyonce. Davis paved the way for many artists and was unsung. Thankfully, she has returned to the spotlight to share her story. The NastyGal film will be released in early 2017.
Watch the trailer below:
“…be true to your artform. And by that, I mean do what’s in your heart more so than what’s in your head.” – Betty Davis
Enjoy Davis’ 2nd studio album, They Say I’m Different :