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Justin Hayward On Hearing Bettye Lavette’s ‘Nights In White Satin’: ‘I Burst Into Tears’

It’s not uncommon on a TV singing competition for a judge to tell a contestant that they “own” a song when they do a new take on a famous classic. It’s less common for the author of a song to offer such a compliment.

But that’s just what happened when Moody Blues frontman Justin Hayward described to his reaction to hearing soul singer Bettye LaVette’s take on the band’s iconic 1967 single, “Nights In White Satin.”

“I burst into tears,” he said, “I just could not help myself. I wrote the song when I was 19, coming on 20 years old, but I heard it for the first time when I was 64 years old. She’s one of the true, true greats.”


— Brian Ives,  

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