Bettye LaVette isn’t a cover artist
Bettye LaVette doesn’t think she covers songs.
The 72-year-old singer is set to drop her newest album ‘Things Have Changed’, which marks the first time she has devoted an entire album to one songwriter, Bob Dylan, but Bettye claimed she isn’t a cover artist.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Bettye said: “The songs had to belong to me. I don’t tributize anyone. This is my 57th year in show business, and I don’t cover nothing. If you cover stuff ... I don’t know why you would cover stuff.
“Pat Boone covered songs. That’s when they count it off and you just start singing. The reason I had to get to know these songs is because I take all of the songs personally.
“It’s like I’m in bed with them, and you can’t tell me who to make love to, so you can’t choose my songs for me. You can’t tell me how to make love to them.”
The ‘Let Me Down Easy’ hitmaker - who recorded her first record when she was 16 - also revealed she never says she wrote or “added anything” to the songs she is performing.
She said: “I don’t ever try to say I wrote or co-write or added anything, I don’t think of myself in term of writing. I’m not a writer by any means. But sometimes I spend hours just making the song cohesive.
“All I can do is edit and redirect songs. I never have the idea. But If I’m going to present myself with the songs, I am not going to look foolish and I’m not going to choose songs that make me look foolish.
“It’s like with my clothes: Something might be absolutely in style, but if we tweak it a little bit so it fits somebody that’s five foot four and only weighs 120 pounds, it’ll be exactly like it was made for me.”