The singer's autobiography charts one missed chance and blown opportunity after another on the way to belated renown 40 years into her career. Born Betty Haskins in Michigan, she was a high school dropout, married and a mother by the age of 15, and ran wild through the Motor City clubs. Rechristened Bettye LaVette, she dove into the music scene, notching a top-10 national R & B hit on Atlantic in 1962. While she reached the top 40 several more times through the early '80s, LaVette never experienced sustained success. Her latter-day albums for the independent label Anti- finally brought her the audience she coveted. Her own recounting suggests she was the victim of her own monumentally misguided judgment. She indulged heartily in alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and sex--she counted Otis Redding, Solomon Burke and Jackie Wilson among her many paramours, sustained a decades-long affair with record exec Clarence Paul, had a long-term female lover and worked off and on as a prostitute.