Bettye Swann is a well-known American soul singer well known for her smash single “Make Me Yours.” Bettye Jean Champion was born on October 24, 1944, in Shreveport, Louisiana, as one of 14 children. Champion sung in a local group as a teen. In 1963, at the age of 19, she traveled to Los Angeles, California, to live with one of her siblings.
Huey Harris, a songwriter in Los Angeles, spotted Swann’s talent as a singer and introduced her to Al Scott of Money Records. Champion changed her name to Bettye Swann in 1964, prompted by Scott, who would become her manager.
Swann signed with Money Records later that year, but her first single, “Make Me Yours,” didn’t come out until April 1967. Swann wrote the song, which was produced by Arthur Wright, and it swiftly soared to the top of the Billboard R&B chart, peaking at number one on July 21, 1967, and number 27 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Swann quit Money Records and fired manager Scott after releasing several more singles, none of which charted.
Swann hired a new manager, George Barton, and relocated to Athens, Georgia, in 1968. She eventually signed with Capital Records but was unable to produce another hit tune. Swann signed with Fame Records in 1971. She had little success again again.
Swann gave her final concert in 1980. George Barton, her husband and manager, died later that year. Swann’s musical career ended when he died at the age of 36. She became Betty Barton after that and pursued a career in education in the Athens region. She also joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Swann’s “Make Me Yours” is still popular and is frequently included on compilations of 1960s R&B tracks. Swann now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she has dedicated her life to assisting others.