Bettye LaVette (born Betty Jo Haskins, January 29, 1946) is an American soul singer-songwriter who made her first record at sixteen, but achieved only intermittent fame until 2005, with her album I've Got My Own Hell to Raise. Her eclectic musical style combines elements of soul, blues, rock and roll, funk, gospel, and country music.
With one of her first singles turning into a national hit, 1962's "Let Me Down Easy", Detroit-raised LaVette would seem a natural soul star, but she was never able to cut an album deal. In 1972 her album A Child of the Seventies was shelved by Atlantic Records, then thought lost forever in a fire. She eked out a living on the European festival circuit, occasionally surfacing such as with the disco single "Doin' the Best that I Can", but remained obscure until French soul collector Gilles Petard tracked down the lost masters and persuaded Atlantic to let him release them on his vanity label as Souvenirs. A live album and 2005's cover album I've Got My Own Hell to Raise followed.
With the release of The Scene of the Crime, Bettye Lavette inches closer to the mainstream, or at least a much bigger cult following. Backed by The Drive-by Truckers and released on -Anti, The Scene of the Crime is recorded at the legendary FAME studios in Muscles Shoals, Alabama. The same place as her lost album. The connection doesn't end there - Patterson Hood of the Drive-by Truckers is the son of David Hood, who played on the 1972 album.
In 2009, she appeared at President Barack Obama's Inaugural Celebration, singing "A Change Is Gonna Come" with Jon Bon Jovi. It was televised globally.