Arts & Culture

Blues Diva Bettye LaVette to Perform


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 3, 2009) - One of the greatest soul singers in American music history, Bettye LaVette, will kick off the 30th anniversary of the Singletary Signature Series at the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts. The LaVette concert, also presented as part of the Alltech Fortnight Festival, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, in the Singletary Center Concert Hall.

LaVette, the reigning Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year, has performed for or with such luminaries as Barack Obama, Paul McCartney, The Who, Donovan, Eddie Vedder, Ringo Starr and Jon Bon Jovi. Performing for more than four decades, her voice can exude formidable strength and intensity and then sound vulnerable, reflective and heartbroken.

Recent success from her 2005 release on the Anti-Records Label, "I've Got My Own Hell to Raise," brought LaVette back into the national spotlight 43 years after her first single "My Man is a Loving Man," released in 1962 when she was a teen. Her star continues to rise with more critical acclaim for the issue of her second CD for the label in 2007, the Grammy nominated "The Scene of the Crime."

Last December, LaVette was asked to perform her rendition of The Who's "Love Reign O'er Me" in recognition of the band at the Kennedy Center Honors. Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl predicted on Air America that LaVette would captivate the event's audience with her rendition. "We showed up for rehearsal, and one of the performers was rehearsing the song for The Who segment. It was a woman named Bettye LaVette," noted Grohl. "She is gonna steal the show. She was so phenomenal, this performance of The Who song that she did. It will bring you to tears. The room was pin-drop silent when she did this song, and it was just unbelievable."

To see LaVette's performance of The Who's "Love Reign O'er Me" at the Kennedy Center Honors, visit YouTube at

In January, LaVette again graced a national stage as she performed Sam Cooke's anthem "A Change Is Gonna Come" at President Barack Obama's Inaugural concert celebration, "We are One," held Jan. 18, at the Lincoln Memorial. To see video of that performance visit YouTube at

LaVette's concert is one of three Singletary Center events being presented as part of the Alltech Fortnight Festival. Beginning Sept. 25, the Alltech Fortnight Festival is a 16-day statewide celebration marking the final year leading up to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010™. The 2009 Alltech Fortnight Festival line-up will bring entertainment to 11 Kentucky venues, covering all regions of the state of Kentucky. The other two Singletary Center events scheduled as part of this festival are concerts featuring The Decemberists, scheduled for Oct. 6, and Ronan Tynan with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, scheduled for Oct. 10.

The Hilary J. Boone Center will offer a pre-show buffet to all ticket holders for the Bettye LaVette show. Individuals should present their ticket at the Boone Center to get a discounted buffet meal. A cash bar will also be available and patrons may leave their cars at the center for the duration of the performance.

The Bettye LaVette concert is made possible through support from a co-sponsor, the Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Center.

Ticket prices for the Bettye LaVette concert are based on seating location and range from $28 to $20. A processing fee will be added upon completion of transaction. To purchase tickets, contact the Singletary Center Ticket Office by phone at (859) 257-4929 or online at