To mark the release of the album, Interpretations: The British Songbook, on May 25, LaVette will commandeer New York City’s Highline Ballroom the following evening to perform the disc in its entirety.

Besides the Highline show, other notable dates on the singer’s calendar include the Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point, Calif. (May 23), and Richard Thompson’s Meltdown Festival in London (June 17).

Other Brits included on LaVette’s 12-song journey – which she co-produced with Michael Stevens and Rob Mathes (Musical Director of “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial” and multiple Kennedy Center Honors) – are Led Zeppelin, Traffic and Pink Floyd.

One person thrilled to have his work covered by the singer is Steve Winwood, who said about being included on Interpretations: “Betty LaVette is a huge influence on the world of R&B. I’ve followed her since ‘Let Me Down Easy’ in the mid ’60s. She is blessed with an instantly recognizable voice full of power and emotion. At this point in her long and illustrious career I’m honored and very happy to hear her version of ‘No Time To Live.’”

As it happens, co-producer Mathes is part of the inspiration for the album, which began with an email.

“My husband had my publicist send them a message saying, ‘She recorded this George Jones song and here’s what George said about the song,” LaVette told me in 2009, just after her appearance at President Obama’s Inaugural concert. “Would you consider having her honor George Jones?’

“When the producers got back with us they said, ‘Everyone is coming from Nashville to honor him. We don’t have any more room there. Do you think she would consider honoring The Who?’

“I was like, ‘Consider it! Consider it!’

“The greatest joy for me was my husband, who’s probably about your age and a Who fan. And he saw their fans cry when I sang. That was great.”

The song Mathes and the show’s other producers asked LaVette to sing was “Love Reign O’er Me,” and it turned out to be a gigantic boost to her career, the genesis of her latest album and a shock to Barbra Streisand, who could be seen turning to Townshend as the performance finished to ask him, “You really wrote that?.”

“I think Pete Townshend would probably agree you sang the definitive cover of ‘Love Reign O’er Me’ that night,” I told the singer during the same interview.

“Well, Pete told Dave Grohl that was the best rendition of a Who song that he’d ever heard,” LaVette explained. “Dave told my husband and of course my husband told me. So you’re getting it ninth hand.”

As for why the singer stuck it out so long when most people would have thrown in the towel, LaVette offered one of the best answers to that question it’s ever been my pleasure to hear.

“I knew I wasn’t going to go and work at Burger King with my first record coming out at 16 and that was all I was trained to do,” LaVette told me in 2007. “In Detroit, everybody – black anyway – knew my face. I wasn’t going to go work selling hamburgers and sign the darned bag when I gave it to them.”