Bettye LaVette has come a long way since her first single was released on Atlantic Records in 1962. Since then, she has recorded for many labels, but did not begin to receive wider recognition until the year 2000 when an album that she recorded in 1972, but had remained unissued, was finally released to great acclaim. She then recorded A Woman Like Me, her first new CD in years, which won her the W.C. Handy Award for Best Comeback Blues Album.
November of 2008 found her performing Love Reign O'er Me, for honorees The Who, at The Kennedy Center Honors. The Youtube video of her performance was an overnight sensation. Two months later, she and Jon Bon Jovi sang A Change Is Gonna Come for President elect Barak Obama on the worldwide televised special of the pre inaugural celebration, We Are One. More people saw her that day than in her entire career.
2010 saw the release of Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook, which has Bettye re-inventing songs by The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and others. It concludes with the live version of Love Reign O'er Me from the Kennedy Center as a bonus track.
Bettye is no mere singer. She is an interpreter of the highest order. She gets inside a song and shapes and twists it to convey all of the emotion that can be wrought from the lyric. Her live performances are incendiary. The New York Times says "Ms. LaVette, 64, now rivals Aretha Franklin as her generation's most vital soul singer. She uses every scrape, shout and break in her raspy voice, with a predator's sense of timing, to seize the drama of a song."
100% of the net proceeds from this event to benefit: Fixing Instruments for Kids in Schools, Church Street School for Music & Art, The Pinwheel Project, Music Unites, The American Symphony Orchestra and Young Audiences New York.