Soul singer Betty Wright has died from cancer, according to reports from multiple media outlets.
Wright’s family confirmed the death to Essence. She was 66 and died from cancer at her home in Miami, Billboard reported.
Wright had been diagnosed with endometrial cancer in the fall, Steve Greenberg, president of S-Curve Records, told The New York Times.
On May 2, singer Chaka Kahn tweeted that her friend Wright needed prayers. “My beloved sister, Betty Wright, is now in need of all your prays,” the tweet said. “In Jesus Name We Pray for Sister Betty.”
Wright was known for her song “Clean Up Woman,” which became a top five hit, according to the biography posted on her verified Facebook page.
She began singing gospel in a family group, the Echoes of Joy, and released her first album in 1968 at the age of 14 singing “Girls Can’t Do What Guys Can Do.”
After the dissolution of her previous label she created her own in 1985, Ms. B Records. She made history three years later when she became the first woman to have a gold record on her own label, her biography said.
Her music would be remixed and reworked to become a part of many modern songs such as Mary J. Blige’s “Real Love,” Sublime’s “Get Out!” and Afrika Bambaataa’s “Zulu War Chant.”
Tributes to the fallen songstress were widespread Sunday with many recalling her gifts for both singing and teaching.
Greenberg had worked with Wright on projects and said she was a great inspiration to upcoming performers.
“She was an incredible writer, producer and mentor to young artists,” Greenberg told The New York Times.
Skip Marley tweeted photos of Wright with his late father and with himself saying in part, “Rest in power to a legend, Betty Wright. Our beloved aunty, mentor and vocal coach.”
Musician Sheila E. tweeted “She was an incredible woman. You will be missed queen.”
Singer Ledisi shared a photo of Wright in her younger days on twitter, thanking her for “being a master teacher, a friend and one of the greatest female soul singers” in the industry.