Recently we stumbled across a great two part article on IRockJazz.com entitled The Prototype: Betty Davis Lit The Spark That Ignited Today's Music Inferno. The boldly title piece does not flinch or waver in proving this point. The article is both gripping and compelling, arguing that not only did Betty Davis materially influence Miles Davis' music and personal style, but she went on to influence many others in the process. Statements like "Davis is arguably the prototype of every single black female vocalist of note in the 21st century" certainly give you something to think about.
The premise for the article can be further summed up with the excerpts below.
When it comes to the influence that Betty Davis bestowed on music, her individual work is always an afterthought when held up against her lasting impression on former husband, legendary trumpeter Miles Davis. Fact about it, whenever her name is mentioned in print, it’s immediately followed by “ex-wife of Miles Davis”.
The extent of how Betty Davis’ existence changed American music goes so far beyond her influence on Miles Davis, and it would be an insult to even describe it as a “ripple effect”, insinuating a pebble dropped into a pond. Her impact has been so severe that it warrants the quantification of a “tsunami effect”, more of a meteor striking the Pacific Ocean.
An awesome, engrossing read!