Celebrated Songwriter Lamont Dozier Dies At 81

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Lamont Dozier, one-third of the songwriting team behind Motown classics like “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You),” has died at 81.

The Detroit-born singer, with brothers Brian and Eddie Holland, penned songs for the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Martha and the Vandellas and the Isley Brothers. They wrote 10 No. 1 songs for Diana Ross and the Supremes, including “Stop! In the Name of Love.”

“Striving to keep up with them made us better songwriters,” Carole King tweeted Tuesday, referring to her then-husband and collaborator Gerry Goffin.

Dozier also worked with a string of artists, including Aretha Franklin and Eric Clapton. With Phil Collins, he wrote “Two Hearts” for the movie Buster and won a Grammy.

Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall tweeted: “One of the greatest songwriters of all time. Truly privileged to have written 4 songs together – Infidelity, Suffer, Turn It Up and You’ve Got It. Rest well Soul Brother.”

In 2019, Dozier collaborated with Canada’s Luke McMaster on “My Life is A Song” for McMaster’s Icons of Soul project. At the time, McMaster described recording with Dozier as an “incredible” experience. “Even just watching him sing and what he did with the melodies and other aspects of the piece, just using his instincts, are things I wouldn’t have come up with in a million years,” he reflected. “The way he can just kind of close his eyes and tap into something is really inspiring.”

With the Holland brothers, Dozier was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two years later. They received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2015.

Dozier’s wife of more than 40 years died in 2021.

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