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The Celeb Savant With Betty Boo

todayMarch 21, 2024 14

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Betty Boo, born Alison Clarkson, carved a unique niche for herself in the music industry in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

Alison Clarkson, before she became known as Betty Boo, was already making waves in the underground UK hip-hop scene. The transformation into Betty Boo came after a comedic mishap with a haircut led her to adopt a style reminiscent of the flapper-era icon Betty Boop, albeit with a dropped ‘p’ to avoid legal issues. Her breakthrough came with a collaboration on the Beatmasters’ 1989 single, “Hey DJ / I Can’t Dance To That Music You’re Playing,” which showcased her rap skills and earned her a publishing deal and the financial means to begin recording from her bedroom​​.

Betty Boo’s debut album, “Boomania,” featuring hits like “Doin’ The Do” and “Where Are You Baby?,” soared in popularity. Despite her success, the grueling demands of fame and a relentless schedule took a toll on her health and well-being. This led to a moment of reevaluation after her second album, “GRRR! It’s Betty Boo,” didn’t achieve the same level of success, and personal tragedy struck with the loss of her mother to cancer​​.

During the mid-90s, Clarkson considered herself “semi-retired” from performing, a period during which she ventured into songwriting for other artists. This transition was not entirely fulfilling for Clarkson, who won an Ivor Novello Award for the song “Pure And Simple,” which was eventually recorded by Hear’Say. Despite this recognition, Clarkson felt that songwriting for others was not a true reflection of her artistry​​.

Take a listen to her full story below…

Written by: Ian Fraser

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