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Betty Davis releases first new song since 1979

The funk songwriter and vocalist breaks her 40 year silence with “A Little Bit Hot Tonight”

Betty Davis’s first new music offering in 40 years was actually conceived in the late 1970s while she was living in Japan, the singer revealed in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette interview.

Called “A Little Bit Hot Tonight”, the new release also features vocals from Danielle Maggio, an ethnomusicologist and singer that Davis met through Philip Cox, director of the Betty Davis documentary They Say I'm Different (2017). “Betty eventually heard me sing and took a liking to my voice,” Maggio told Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “She told me she was working on a song for me, and I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t think it was actually happening until she laid down two hand-written pages of lyrics in front of me a few months ago.”

Davis says the song is “sort of jazz-oriented” and was “inspired by a musician named [Itsuroh] Shimoda from Japan. I took the East and blended it with the West and we came up with a good blend for the production of the song.”

She also told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that there is more music available for potential release.

Davis has been described as the Queen of Funk, while her former husband Miles Davis called her the female Prince. In 1973 she released They Say I'm Different, and followed it a year later with Nasty Gal. Her music career was cut short in the 1980s when she moved back to Homestead, Pennsylvania to look after her sick father. In 2007 Light In The Attic released a compilation album titled Betty Davis, followed by a collection of remastered unheard music in Betty Davis: The Unheard Columbia Years 1968–1969.

You can listen to “A Little Bit Hot Tonight” on Bandcamp.