*The New York Post has reported that Abdul “Duke” Fakir, the sole living original member of The Four Tops, is working with Broadway producer Paul Lambert on a musical about the iconic quartet, according to SoulTracks.
Although the musical is not officially named yet, the tentative name is set to be: “I’ll Be There.” and will hopefully be ready for the 2022 Broadway Season. What is so remarkable about this series is that it will be following extremely successful Broadway plays on Motown and the Tops’ labelmates, The Temptations.
The Four Tops are hands down one of the best groups to ever come out of the Detroit area. They had a huge success with their music, but their longevity was unfortunately cut short by none other than death. The original group was formed in the mid-1950s with high-schoolers that later formed the original band members: Levi Stubbs, Obie Benson, Lawrence Payton, and Fakir.
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As the years went on, and names evolved to avoid confusion with other top-tier artists at the time, the Tops skyrocketed to the A-list of soul music stars. They became, along with the Temptations, the male group leaders of Motown. Yet, although they were ranked very similarly, when it came down to it, their differences were nothing short of apparent.
Though they had many hits in the 60s and 70s as the 80s arrived, the Four Tops found themselves without a record contract and facing irrelevancy in the temperamental world of popular music. Not too long after, tragedy struck the group in 1997, as group member Lawrence Payton died of cancer. Sadly, Obie Benson followed in 2005 and Stubbs in 2008. The group now consists of Fakir, Lex Morris, Roquel Payton (son of Lawrence Payton), and Ronnie McNeir.
The Four Tops certainly have left a legacy and have an impeccable story to tell after all they have built and initiated over more than six decades.
We sincerely hope that Duke Fakir gets to tell it on Broadway!