At the age of nine, Everett began playing the piano and singing gospel music in church. She continued these activities while growing up until moving to Chicago in 1957 to pursue a career in secular music. She recorded for various small local labels before she was discovered in 1963 by A&R musical director Calvin Carter, from the then fast-growing independent label, Vee-Jay Records.

That same year, an initial single failed, but her next Vee-Jay release, a bluesy version of "You're No Good" (written by Clint Ballard, Jr. and later a #1 hit for Linda Ronstadt), just missed the U.S. top 50. Her third single, the catchy "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)", was her biggest solo hit (a surprise for Everett, who did not want to record it and allegedly felt that the song was too silly[citation needed]). It peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and made #1 on the Cashbox R&B chart.

Her other hits included "I Can't Hear You", "Getting Mighty Crowded" (covered by Elvis Costello in 1980), and several duets with Jerry Butler, including "Let It Be Me" which made the US Top 5 in 1964 and was another Cashbox R&B number 1. After Vee-Jay folded in 1966, she recorded for several other labels, including Uni, Fantasy, and ABC.

After an unsuccessful year with ABC, a move to Uni brought another major success in 1969 with "There'll Come A Time", co-written by producer and lead singer of The Chi-Lites, Eugene Record, This rose to #2 in the Billboard R&B listing (#26 on the Hot 100) and topped the Cashbox chart. However, most of her later work could not match the success she had with Vee-Jay, although there were other R&B hits with "It's Been A Long Time" and "I Got To Tell Somebody", which re-united her with Calvin Carter in 1970. Her final recording came out in 1980, again produced by Carter. Her awards include the BMI Pop Award (both for 1964 and 1991) and the BMI R&B Award (for 1964).

From the 1980s until her death, Everett resided in Beloit, Wisconsin, where she was involved in the Rhythm & Blues Foundation and the churches of the Fountain of Life and New Covenant. A flurry of press interest in her in the early 90s followed the use of "The Shoop Shoop Song" in the successful film, Mermaids, starring Cher, but she was unable to properly resurrect her career. In 2000, she made her last public appearance on the PBS special Doo Wop 51. Everett died at her home in Beloit on August 19, 2001; she was 61 years old.



1962: Betty Everett & Ketty Lester (with Ketty Lester)
1964: It's in His Kiss (originally titled "You're No Good") - Vee Jay
1964: Delicious Together (with Jerry Butler) - Vee Jay
1965: The Very Best Of Betty Everett - Vee Jay
1968: I Need You So - UA/Sunset (reissued material)
1969: There'll Come a Time - Uni
1970: Betty Everett Starring
1974: Love Rhymes - Fantasy
1975: Happy Endings - Fantasy


1964: The Very Best of Betty Everett
1969: Betty Everett and the Impressions (with The Impressions)
1993: The Shoop Shoop Song
1995: The Fantasy Years
1998: Best of Betty Everett: Let It Be Me
2000: The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)"

Selected Singles

1963: "The Prince Of Players"
1963: "You're No Good" (US #51)
1964: "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)" (US #6)
1964: "I Can't Hear You" (US #66)
1964: "Let It Be Me" (duet with Jerry Butler) (US #5)
1965: "Getting Mighty Crowded" (US #65)(UK #20)
1965: "Smile" (duet with Jerry Butler) (US #42)
1965: "Gonna Be Ready" (US Cashbox R&B #41)
1969: "There'll Come A Time" (US #26, US R&B #2)
1969: "I Can't Say No To You" (US #78, US R&B #29)
1969: "It's Been A Long Time" (US #96, US R&B #17)
1970: "Unlucky Girl" (US R&B #46)
1970: "I Got To Tell Somebody" (US #96, US R&B #22)
1971: "Ain't Nothing Gonna Change Me" (US R&B #32)
1973: "Danger" (US R&B #79)
1974: "Sweet Dan" (US R&B #38)
1980: "Hungry For You"