Clean Up Woman

Betty Wright

About Clean Up Woman

"Clean Up Woman" is a song by Betty Wright from her second studio album, I Love the Way You Love (1972). Written and produced by Clarence Reid and Willie Clarke, it was released in November 1971 in the U. S. as a 7" single with "I'll Love You Forever" on the B-side. The single reached number six on the U. S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, spending fourteen weeks on the chart. It also reached number two on the U. S. Black Singles chart. It peaked at No.4 on the Cash Box Top 100 singles chart during the weeks ending January 29, 1972 and February 5, 1972. It has sold over a million copies with the RIAA gold disc awarded on December 30, 1972. Billboard ranked it as the No. 49 song for 1972. The song's distinctive guitar lick was played by Willie "Little Beaver" Hale. The song also appears as the beginning and end songs in a medley on the 1978 album Betty Wright Live. The song has been sampled in at least 32 other songs, including the 2013 "Favorite Song" by Chance the Rapper and the 1993 remix of "Real Love" by Mary J. Blige. Cover versions include those by  


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A clean up woman is a woman who
Gets all the love we girls leave behind
The reason I know so much about her
Is because she picked up a man of mine

Jumpin' slick was my ruin
'Cause I found out all I was doin'
Was makin' it easy for the clean up woman
To get my man's love, aww, yeah
Just makin' it easy for the clean up woman
To get my baby's love, huh huh

I took this man's love and put it on a shelf
And, like a fool, I thought I had him all to myself
When he needed love, I was out havin' fun
But I found out that all I had done
Was made it easy for the clean up woman
To get my man's love, huh huh
Yeah, that's what I did
I made it easy for the clean up woman
To steal my baby's love, aw, yeah

The clean up woman will wipe his blues away
She'll give him plenty lovin', twenty four hours a day
The clean up woman, she'll sweep him off his feet
She's the one who'll take him in when you dump him in the street
So take a tip, you better get hip
To the clean up woman, 'cause she's tough
I mean, she really cleans up

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Betty Wright

Bessie Regina Norris, better known by her stage name, Betty Wright (born December 21, 1953), is a Miami-based soul and R&B singer-songwriter, who won fame in the 1970s with hits such as "Clean Up Woman" and "Tonight Is the Night". A pioneering singer-songwriter and entrepreneur, she remains one of the few black female musicians to have a gold record on her own vanity label. She possesses a six-octave vocal range and is adept at using the whistle register. more »

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Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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10 facts about this song

Genre Classification
"Clean Up Woman" is a soul and funk song, combining upbeat rhythms with soulful lyrics.
Artist Background
Betty Wright, one of the performers of this song, started her career at just two-years-old and earned her first Grammy Award at the age of 23.
Chart Performance
The song was a huge hit, reaching No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on the Billboard Soul Singles chart in 1971.
The song's unique sound and energy have made it a favourite among hip-hop artists for sampling. Notable artists who have sampled "Clean Up Woman" include Mary J. Blige, Sublime and Chance The Rapper.
Song Creation
The song was written by Clarence Reid and Willie Clarke. The music was arranged by Ray Love and conducted by Clarence Reid.
Album Details
"Clean Up Woman" is one of the tracks on Betty Wright's second studio album, "I Love the Way You Love". The album was released in 1972.
Version Variation
Al Kooper and Maria Muldaur have also made their versions of the song. Each artist brings their unique style to the song, but the soulful energy of the original remains the same.
"Clean Up Woman" has secured its place in music history as a classic soul/funk tune. It has also earned a gold disc from the R.I.A.A. for sales of over a million copies.
Song Theme
The song tells the story of a woman who cleans up men's messes after they have failed their women. This "clean up woman" is a threat to ladies who take their men for granted.
Grammy Nominations
Betty Wright, known for her robust voice, earned a Grammy nomination for "Clean Up Woman" in the category of Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

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    Clean Up Woman

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    Top Hot 100 Songs 1972

    Billboard #6



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