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A Woman Like Me

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  131 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
An inspiring, no-holds-barred, audacious memoir by Bettye LaVette, one of R&B's greatest legends - guaranteed to make news, and make hearts break, too.
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 27th 2012 by Blue Rider Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Christopher McDonald
Nov 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Bettye LaVette!! You held nothing back!! Nothing!!!!!

This is hands-down the most open auto-biography I've ever read. I'd recently read Gregg Allman's and that held the crown, but Bettye stole it, ran off with it, and buried the crown with her name engraved on it. In this book, she chronicles her very slow rise to fame throughout 30 years, despite all types of adversity like prostitution, alcohol, dishonest record execs, poverty, etc. In addition to airing out her own dirty laundry, she does the
...more
Capathia
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very early into it I realized I don't like this woman very much but I like the book and the story of her trying to make it in the music business. I was struck by her brutally honest story telling and sometimes put off by it. I kept reading because this woman is one of the best singers I have ever heard,she is the truth.
Cornelia36
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I Say I TORE Through This Book??

....that is what I did. I made the mistake of starting this book, late last night - and literally could NOT put it down. I never thought I would find a book that was more fire than Raymona Gordy Singleton's, or more candid than Bobby Womack's....but mannn...I FOUND one. This one. All I can say - for those who are considering this book - GET IT, and buckle UP!! This book is a awesome ride of brushes with fame, missed opportunities, and at last, vindication....
...more
Bobby Simic
Oct 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
R&B/Soul singer, Bettye LaVette, offers a matter-of-fact account of her (slow) rise to fame. LaVette is a survivor in the best sense, never giving up her dream of becoming a singer and only finding success well after middle-age.

But this isn't one of those warm and fuzzy, "You can do anything, if you put your mind to it" memoirs. This has sex, drugs, and drinking in spades, and LaVette is making no apologies about any of it.

Growing up in Detroit, LaVette was at the center of Motown's rise a
...more
John
Jun 19, 2014 rated it liked it
To say Bettye LaVette likes to live life on her own terms may be an understatement. The book begins with a pimp hanging LaVette out of an upper story window. The R&B singer’s exploits don't get any tamer from there. LaVette dishes on her numerous sexual liaisons with famous musicians, petty criminals and hardcore gangsters. The main focus, however, is her music career. LaVette has spent the majority of her life in Detroit. As an R&B singer in 1960s and 1970s Detroit she rubbed elbows wit ...more
Candace R
Apr 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This has to be the most honest autobiography by a singer I have ever read, and I have read a lot in the last 35 years. I first heard Bettye while listening to a compilation album many years ago. I thought then, Why is this woman not famous? This book describes why. This is the definitive " hard luck" , yet never give up story. Every time she falls down, she says " Buzzards luck. Mutha f*ck". You laugh at her choice of words, but you feel so sad and angry for her. At the end of the book, you are ...more
Terri Kempton
Oct 20, 2014 rated it liked it
I love Bettye's voice and applaud her tenacity to become a success - and her frankness in writing this book. Ballsy, courageous, and heartbreaking in turns, I appreciated learning more about her history. But the actual narrative could have used a little less name dropping (if you were around in the Detroit RB/blues scene in the 60's and 70's, man, will you LOVE this part!) and a little more reflection. It reads like she's still very much living the story, as she is, so it's more of a plot breakd ...more
Kathy
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: friends
Recommended to Kathy by: Joe Madison "The Eagle"
Wow,

Bettye Lavette has led a hard living,loving,drugging, sexing and singing life. This book was really a good read. She was in the beginning of the Motown/Atlantic Soul R&B run of the 60's and 70's. Boy did she tell stories and the names were not changed to protect the innocent, if there was any innocent. She is a rough and tumble lady that has led a life and is still living. She didn't sugar coat the truth she just put it all on the line. Some of the characters that are still living may ha
...more
Pamster
Jun 15, 2012 rated it liked it
A super raw account of her years of almost-making it as a singer but always being broke and fucked over. Um, I love how she told all the shit. How much prostitution was(is?) a normal part of the music business. Omg, she had so much shit to say about Diana Ross and tons of other people. I love all her affairs with dudes (and one lady), I love her love of weed and blow, but you guys, she thinks some women just need to be hit and she thinks Ike got a bad rap. Wow! Mostly, I just want to listen to h ...more
Cody
Oct 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
A truly inspirational story with no appearance from God. From the first sentence you will find it hard to put down this book from a hard drinking, hard loving and hard singing blues legend. If you ever wanted to know what real people in Detroit think about Motown, Diane Ross, Aretha Franklin, etc. You'll love what Bettye has to say. Read the acknowledgements at the end of the book...hysterical! A moving and heartwarming story of rising above adversity to become a legend.
Kenyon
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Bettye Lavette is one of my favorite vocalists, and this book, written with seemingly no-holds barred, will be of interest to music fans, LGBT folks, history buffs and especially fans of Motown-era Detroit, from the point of view of its most infamous underdog. There's dirt on everybody. LOL.

I will warn you--some of Lavette's opinions are shockingly misogynist, and will make many pro-feminist and feminists cringe in horror. But its still worth the read.

Darrick Williams
Apr 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Well, I’ll keep it simple; it is indeed raw and uncut. Bettye LaVette details her life and lifestyle as she tries to make it in the music business. She tells of sex, drugs, pimps and other star signers as they themselves were trying to make it. Some names she speak of: Berry Gordy, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Gladys Knight and many more. In the end, the way you’re raised is everything.
Jon Kapp
Aug 16, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm not sure we know exactly what drove Bettye LaVette, but her book clearly chronicles an immensely talented woman who refused to give up. Her redemption comes in a degree of fame and more importantly recognition towards the end of a long career. No holds. For fans of an individual and an era.
Wil
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Bettye LaVette has always intoxicated me with her voice with this autobiography/memoir she has captured me with her words. Her life story is written as if being told to a dear friend sitting across from you while having drinks. A truly stunning read.
Mike Barnett
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not the most well-written book, but I absolutely love her music. And I love her refreshingly honest appreciation for alcohol and sex and her refusal to be anything but dismissive of religion. So first listen to her and then read this!
Gary R
Nov 09, 2013 rated it liked it
I really wanted to love this autobiography but it was slow reading. But I still love Bettye Lavette.
Erin
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Bettye's story is pretty amazing. Not the BEST writing (not bad either), but her story and spirit come through with the same unforgiving passion her singing does.
C.
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought she was very bold in telling her life just as she lived it. Very strong women with a balanced sense of right and wrong. And she can really sing the Blues.
Dennis Mills
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Brutally honest and raw, like her voice. Go Bettye!
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