Lamont Dozier, Motown songwriter, dies aged 81 | Music

Lamont Dozier, the Motown legend behind hits such as the Supremes, Four Tops and Isley Brothers, has died at the age of 81.

The news was confirmed by his son, Lamont Dozier Jr. on Instagram. No cause of death has yet been released.

As a third of the Holland–Dozier–Holland production team, Dozier is responsible for 10 of the Supremes’ 12 No. 1 singles, including Baby Love and You Keep Me Hanging On.

All three were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

Ronnie Wood, who covered the 1963 single from the trio Leaving Home in 2001, paid tribute to Dozier on Twitter. “God bless Lamont,” he wrote. “The 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 June 16, 1941, Dozier began his music career by working for several Detroit labels with little success. His luck changed in 1962 when he and songwriter brothers Brian and Eddie Holland started working in Motown. They started running, scoring three hits – Come and Get This Memories, Heatwave, and Quicksand – for Martha and The Vandellas.

They were followed in 1964 by Where Did Our Love Go, the first of the 10 US chart-toppers the trio would write for The Supremes. Four years later, after helping determine the sound of Motown, 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.

After leaving Holland–Dozier–Holland in 1973, Dozier focused on his solo career, with one of his early singles, Going Back To My Roots, later becoming a smash hit for the disco group Odyssey in 1981.

Seven years later Dozier collaborated with Phil Collins on US No. 1 Two Hearts, winning a pair of Golden Globes and a Grammy. Dozier also worked with other British artists during the ’80s, including Alison Moyet and Simply Red.

Dozier left behind his six children.

This article was amended on August 9, 2022. An earlier version stated that Dozier left his second wife, Barbara Ullman Dozier. He died in 2021.

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