Bettye LaVette has been singing and recording soul music since 1962 when she was only 16. She has always been amazing, but the following video blew my mind.
In 2008, legendary British rock band The Who where selected to receive the Kennedy Center Honors and Bettye LaVette performed an absolutely heart-stopping version of their song “Love Reign O’er Me”.
The phenomenal reception her performance received led her to record an entire album of British Invasion covers including “Maybe I’m Amazed”, “Nights in White Satin” and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me”. I have this album and I love this album. I can’t seem to stop listening to it and when I sometimes feel I should go back to the original versions of the tracks she covers I decide I’ve made a mistake and put Bettye LaVette back on.
She is amazing and this recording of “Love Reign O’er Me” makes me wonder whether I’ve ever heard any song by The Who properly before. It is, in a word, shattering.
Do yourself the biggest favour you’ll do this year and buy Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook.
In the meantime, watch this incredible video.