*My God! We keep losing entertainment legends. The latest, unfortunately, is Lamont Dozier, the Motown mastermind behind huge hits for artists such as the Supremes, the Four Tops and the Isley Brothers, among others. Dozier was 81
The legendary songwriter, producer and singer’s son Lamont Dozier Jr released the news via Instagram. However, he didn’t mention the cause of his father’s passing.
Dozier was part of the Motown hit-making machine called Holland–Dozier–Holland who was responsible for 10 of the Supremes’ 12 No 1 singles, including “Baby Love” and “You Keep Me Hanging On.”
The trio was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
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Ronnie Wood, who covered the trio’s 1963 single Leaving Home in 2001, paid tribute to Dozier on Twitter. “God bless Lamont,” he wrote. “His music will live on.” Mick Hucknall, who worked with Dozier in the 1980s, also tweeted his condolences calling him “One of the greatest songwriters of all time.”
Born in Detroit, Michigan on 16 June, 1941, Dozier started his musical career working for a few Detroit labels with little success. His luck changed in 1962 when he and songwriting brothers Brian and Eddie Holland started work at Motown. They hit the ground running, scoring three hits – “Come and Get These Memories,” “Heatwave,” and “Quicksand” – for Martha and The Vandellas.
They were followed in 1964 by Where Did Our Love Go, the first of 10 US chart-toppers the trio would write for The Supremes. Four years later, having helped define the Motown sound, Holland–Dozier–Holland left the label to start the Invictus and Hot Wax labels. Dozier would go on to record as a soloist for both labels.
Holland-Dozier-Holland tracks have been covered by illustrious artists ranging from Linda Ronstadt, the Jackson 5, and Gloria Gaynor to Kylie Minogue, Rod Stewart, and the Fall, and sampled by countless rap and R&B stars—Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Solange among them. The trio was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame two years later.
After producing more than 200 songs for the label, a royalty dispute led the production trio to slow its work rate and, in the late ’60s, to leave Motown and form two labels, Invictus and Hot Wax.
Dozier focused on his output as a lead artist, which included a ’70s R&B staple in “Going Back to My Roots,” popularized by disco group Odyssey and later adopted by innumerable disco revivalist DJs. And he continued to write songs for pop stars such as Alison Moyet (“Invisible”) and Phil Collins (the Grammy and Golden Globe-winning No. 1 single “Two Hearts”).
Dozier is survived by his six children.