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'No Pain No Gain' singer Betty Wright, first female artist to launch an independent album, passes away at 66

Cause of death for the 'Clean Up Woman' singer is not yet known
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Soul singer Betty Wright, who popularized the phrase 'No pain, no gain', passed away at the age of 66, her family confirmed on Sunday, May 10. The cause of her death has not yet been revealed.

The popular R&B singer's niece, Bella, paid a tribute to the 'Clean Up Woman' singer on Twitter, writing: "I just lost my aunt this morning... and now my mood has changed... sleep in peace aunty Betty Wright fly high angel."

Bella, in another tweet, added: "My auntie was a legend... she helped me get my first paychecks singing background... and I didn't make it to see you this past week and that's going to haunt me... R.I.P. Betty Wright."

Although it has not yet been revealed if the singer was suffering from any ailments, something appeared wrong two days ago when singer Chaka Khan made a plea on Twitter on Friday, May 8, writing: "Calling all my #PrayWarriors. My beloved sister, Betty Wright @MsBettyWright, is now in need of all your prayers."

Betty Wright performs with the Roots Crew at the 7th Annual Roots Jam Session hosted by Jimmy Fallon at the Music Box on February 12, 2011 in Los Angeles, California (Getty Images)

Wright was recently honored on TV One's 'Unsung'. Many in the music industry believe that she was one of the most underrated singers of her time.

The R&B singer recorded several songs in her career, including her 1971 hit 'Clean Up Woman'. Wright was just 18 when the song was released and it became one of her biggest hits ever. Her other hits include 'Let Me Be Your Lovermaker,' 'Shoorah Shoorah,' 'Tonight is the Night,' and 'Where is the Love.'

Wright, in the 1980s, made a pathbreaking decision of launching her own independent album. No female artist had done this before. It was then when she recorded 'No Pain (No Gain).' She later went on to record 'Mother Wit,' the song made history, making Wright the first African-American female singer to mark gold on her own record label.

The popular singer inspired many other singers, including Mary J Blige, The Roots and Joss Stone. She reportedly performed with Stone on her song 'The Art of Love and War'.

Tragedy befell her after her 21-year-old son, Patrick, was shot and killed in 2005. Wright is survived by four other children.