Today brings the sad news that funk icon Betty Davis has died. Rolling Stone reports that they confirmed her death with Betty's close friend Danielle Maggio, and Amie Downs, communications director for Allegheny County where Davis lived, who cited natural causes, though Vulture links to a Facebook post from longtime friend Connie Portis, who says Betty was diagnosed with cancer. There is also some discrepancy between different sources about whether she was 76 or 77.

In 2018, Betty reissued her 1975 album Nasty Gal on Light in the Attic, around the same time a documentary was released, and here's what we said at the time:

When people talk about Betty Davis, one thing that always seems to come up is how she was ahead of her time. NPR headlined a 2009 article "Betty Davis: A 'Nasty Gal' Ahead Of Her Time" (the same article that critic Meredith Ochs called her "Sly Stone, Mick Jagger and The Jimi Hendrix Experience all rolled into one woman"). It's frequently been noted that Betty's uncompromising style influenced Madonna, OutKast and Prince. She is famously known for introducing her then-husband Miles Davis to Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone in the late '60s and, as a result, influencing the direction of Bitches Brew. She's also been sampled by a handful of notable rappers. Now, almost a decade after that NPR article, Light in the Attic is reissuing 1975's Nasty Gal -- largely considered Betty Davis' defining moment -- on vinyl, and Betty is still as prescient as ever.

Rest in peace, Betty.

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