Betty White Remembered by the Music World

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

The music industry is mourning the loss of comedy legend Betty White, who died at her home in Los Angeles on Dec. 31 at the age of 99, just 18 days shy of her 100th birthday.

In the days following her passing, artists like Dianne Warren, Gloria Gaynor, Sheryl Crow, Halsey, Lizzo, Tegan and Sara, Jenny Lewis, Laura Jane Grace, and more have been sharing special memories and sentiments for the actress and comedian.

White’s 80-plus year career gained more traction in 1940s in radio after White’s failed attempts with studios, who told her she was “not photogenic.” Throughout her career the five-time Emmy winner went on to work in nearly every level of entertainment—including regular game show appearances from the 1960s through early ’80s (Pyramid)—and her roles The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls and most recently Hot in Cleveland, which she starred in well into her 90s. 

“Another brilliant talent has made her transition,” wrote singer and songwriter Dionne Warwick. “I had the pleasure of getting to know Betty White and shared a few giggles with her. May she rest in well-earned peace.” 

Producer Diane Warren, who worked with White on various animal charitable events, also shared a recent memory with the late actress, who served as the president of the Morris Animal Foundation and on the board of trustees for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. “A few years ago at an animal charity event, I bid on a day at the zoo with Betty White,” tweeted Warren, who posted a photo she took with White during the event. “Not only was she a legend but a fierce advocate for animal rights. Both the humans and the animals are so sad today Betty.”

Singer Huey Lewis, who starred with White on Hot in Cleveland, shared his memory of working with the icon.

“Acting with Betty White on ‘Hot in Cleveland,’ was one of my truly great experiences,” said Lewis. “She was funny, of course, smart, and very sweet. And talk about comedic timing. What an amazing career, and what a great person. I’m so lucky I got to work with her.”

Posting live from Times Square, host Ryan Seacrest wrote, “All of us in Times Square and around the world are grieving the loss of Betty White. She was a TV pioneer who paved the way for so many people. Beyond that, she showed us what you can accomplish in a lifetime through kindness and humor. Rest in peace to a true American icon.”

Other artists’ tributes continued to pour in, including Halsey’s simple post with White’s name and frown, and Lizzo’s broken heart emoji.

Sibling duo Tegan and Sara remembered White and the impact The Golden Girls had on them growing up. “Golden Girls was our favorite show to watch with our Dad Saturday nights,” tweeted the pair. “When we were 9 his TV broke. The screen went black but still had sound. We begged to get a new one. ‘Why, we know what the Golden Girls look like!’ he laughed. We listened for months. RIP Betty White.”

Cher posted twice, writing “Beloved icon… you will never be forgotten” accompanied by a more humorous gif of White dancing. In another post, Cher also shared a childhood memory of watching White on her first TV Show, Life With Elizabeth, when she was 7. “I got a chance to tell her,” wrote Cher.” I was embarrassed ’cause tears came to my eyes. She put her arms around me, and I felt 7 again. Some people are called Icons. Betty is a true icon.”

Photo: David Livingston / Getty Images

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