Bettye Lavette

Bettye Lavette has her way with other people's songs on her new album, Thankful N Thoughtful.

Michigan native and longtime Detroit resident Bettye Lavette has gone from a Motown-style R&B diva not far removed from Patti Labelle to the best female rock singer this side of Tina Turner. The stunning A Woman Like Me, from 2003, made up for her 20-year absence from U.S. shelves in one fell swoop, while her last three albums have all been knockouts as well: 2007's noirish The Scene of the Crime was recorded with gnarly Georgia rockers Drive-By Truckers; 2010's Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook featured a heart-stopping version of The Who's "Love, Reign O'er Me"; and this year's Thankful N Thoughtful turns its attention to wizened Americans like Bob Dylan and Neil Young.

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