Published 01/06/14

Acclaimed blues singer Bettye LaVette to perform Feb. 5

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bettye LaVette, described by The New York Times as “rivaling Aretha Franklin as her generation’s most vital soul singer,” will perform at Bryant University at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 5, as part of the President’s Cultural Series and in conjunction with Black History Month.

Bettye LaVetteWidespread recognition eluded LaVette through most of her 50-year career, until she won the coveted W.C. Handy Award in 2004 for “Comeback Blues Album of the Year,” and the Living Blues Critic’s Award for “Best Female Blues Artist.” She later received a “Pioneer Award” from The Rhythm and Blues Foundation, was nominated for a Grammy Award, and won a Blues Music Award for “Best Female Contemporary Blues Artist.”

She garnered critical acclaim following her performance of The Who’s “Love Reign O’er Me” at the Kennedy Center Honors. In 2009, she sang with Jon Bon Jovi at The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. She next shared the stage at Radio City Music Hall with Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

LaVette has since appeared on countless radio and television programs – from NPR’s “World Café” to “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” In 2012, her latest album, “Thankful N’ Thoughtful,” was released, along with her acclaimed autobiography, “A Woman Like Me.”

General admission is $20. Smithfield residents may receive two complimentary tickets (additional tickets are $20). Tickets for non-Bryant students and teachers are $10 with school I.D. To reserve tickets, call (401) 531-6661.

Tickets for Bryant alumni are $10 if reserved in advance ($15 on concert night). Register online at or by calling (401) 531-6661.