‘We’ve lost a giant’: Legendary Motown songwriter Lamont Dozier dies aged 81

Legendary Motown songwriter and producer Lamont Dozier has died at the age of 81.

The news was confirmed by his son, Lamont Dozier Jr, on Instagram.

He was part of the songwriting trio, Holland, Dozier, Holland, who shared several number one records and won Grammy Awards.

Dozier senior wrote songs for The Supremes, The Four Tops and The Isley Brothers, as well as Marvin Gaye and Martha and the Vandellas.

Hits include Baby Love, Nowhere to Run, How Sweet It Is (to Be Love By You) and You Can’t Hurry Love.

His son shared a picture of the two together, with the caption: “Rest in Heavenly Peace, Dad!”

Along with Brian Holland, Dozier was the arranger and producer, while Eddie Holland focussed on lyrics and vocal production.

The trio were key in shaping the Motown sound in the 1960s, as well as the sound for Detroit based label Motown Records between 1962 and 1967.

‘Composing genius’

Following the news of his death, tributes poured in from the musical world.

Nile Rodgers led tributes, writing: “Music composing genius. He’s had a positive effect on so many lives. We’ve lost a giant.”

Simply Red’s Mike Hucknall’s worked with Dozier and described him as “one of the greatest songwriters of all time”.

Songwriters Brian Wilson and Billy Bragg, DJS Dave Pearce and Lorraine King, and Grammy nominated producer Brandon Williams also paid tribute on social media.

Dozier was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1941 and recorded a few records for local labels before teaming up with the Holland Brothers for Berry Gordy’s Motown Records in 1962.

In an interview with The Guardian in 2015, Dozier described the process behind their hit songs.

“We’d get there at 9am and we would sometimes work until 3am,” he said.

“It was blood, sweat and tears. We pounded on the piano and put our ideas down on a little recorder and just worked and worked them out until we came up with things.”

After leaving Motown Records in 1967, the trio formed Invictus Records and Hot Wax Records, where they would produce hits for Freda Payne, Honey Cone and Chairmen of the Board.

He would leave the group in 1973 and would go on to collaborate with Phil Collins on Two hearts and won a Grammy, Golden Globe and Oscar nomination for the film soundtrack for Buster.

Dozier was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and also received stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Source : Sky News