Betty Kelly Biography, Age, Family, Husband, Motown and Songs

Betty Kelly Biography

Betty Kelly (Betty Kelley) is a former American singer, most famous for her tenure in the popular Motown singing group Martha and the Vandellas.

Betty Kelly Career

Like many children growing up in the city, Betty found herself aspiring for a career in music. In 1961, Kelly joined Motown singing group The Velvelettes. She was not part of the group when the band had a hit with Needle in a Haystack, which became a hit in 1964.

A year before, she was recruited by Motown president Berry Gordy to replace departing Martha and the Vandellas member Annette Beard as a member of the group led by Martha Reeves and featuring Rosalind Ashford.

Martha and the Vandellas

Betty joined what became the most famed lineup of the Vandellas, coming in quickly to record the single “Dancing in the Street”. The group found bigger success than they ever had before with “Dancing in the Street” and many other songs recorded during Kelly’s tenure with the group, including “Nowhere to Run”, “I’m Ready for Love”, and “My Baby Loves Me”.

The lineup of Ashford, Reeves, and Kelly helped the group become international stars gaining popularity from performances from The Ed Sullivan Show, Shindig! and American Bandstand. Betty Kelly was often mistaken for being an original member of the group despite the fact that Beard had sung on the group’s earlier singles, often lip-synched by Kelly when the group performed on TV.

Betty Kelly Photo

Betty’s vocals contrasted from original member Beard’s. She was fired from the group in the summer of 1967—about the same time that Florence Ballard was fired from The Supremes—and was replaced by Martha’s younger sister Lois Reeves with the group’s name changed to Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.

Later years

After Kelly’s Motown years, she moved to California, where she worked for Home Savings and Loan Association on Sunset Blvd. and Vine Street until retirement. She is said to have fully retired from music after she became partially deaf in one ear.

In 1995, Betty was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a Vandella alongside Martha and Lois Reeves, Rosalind Ashford, Annette Beard, and Sandra Tilley. Kelly remains connected to her Motown family, participating with Janie Bradford’s Annual Heroes & Legends Awards, working with other artists at music festivals such as “Sunset Junction. She most recently attended a special artist family night of “Motown: The Musical” on Broadway.

Betty Kelly Age

Kelly was born on September 16, 1944 in Attalla, Alabama, United States. She is 74 years old as of 2018.

Betty Kelly Family

Kelly was born in Attalla, Alabama, but her family moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan when she was a child.

Betty Kelly Husband

Kelly is very private about her personal life hence it is not known if she is married or has any children.

Betty Kelly Songs

  • Nowhere to Run
  • Jimmy Mack
  • Needle in a Haystack
  • Love Is Good
  • He Was Really Sayin’ Somethin’
  • These Things Will Keep Me Loving You
  • Love
  • In My Lonely Room
  • I’m Ready for Love
  • My Baby Loves Me
  • Lonely Lonely Girl Am I
  • Wild One
  • I Need To Be independent
  • He Doesn’t Love Her Anymore
  • One Way Out
  • What Am I Going to Do Without Your Love
  • You’ve Been in Love Too Long
  • Let Love Live
  • Everybody Needs Love
  • Your Heart Belongs to Me
  • No More Tearstained Make Up
  • Since I’ve Lost You
  • You Really Got A Hold On Me – Live
  • Tell Me I’ll Never Be Alone
  • Nobody’ll Care
  • A Bird in the Hand
  • A Love So Deep Inside
  • That’s a Funny Way
  • I Can’t Help Myself – Live
  • Think of the Times
  • Live Wire
  • Can’t Break the Habit

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