The legendary Detroit-born songwriter Lamont Dozier, and member of production trio Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote countless hits on Motown Records.
Fans of Motown Records are mourning after the passing of legendary singer-songwriter and producer Lamont Dozier. The Holland-Dozier-Holland member was confirmed to be deceased in an Instagram post on Tuesday (August 9) by his son, Lamont Dozier Jr. The Motown icon was 81-years-old.
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“Rest in Heavenly Peace, Dad!” the caption read, with Dozier Jr. photographed alongside his father, although cause of death is unknown.
Born on June 16, 1941 in Detroit, Michigan, Dozier attended Hutchins Junior High with the late Aretha Franklin decades before he co-produced and co-wrote her 1977 album Sweet Passion. While attending school, Dozier was commissioned by fellow male schoolmates to write love and apology letters to their girlfriends for 25 cents apiece, prompting the budding artist to write love songs. At fifteen-years-old, Dozier dropped out of school to become a member of vocal group The Romeos, which were briefly on Atlantic Records before disbanding.
Per his 2019 autobiography How Sweet It Is: A Songwriter’s Reflections on Music, Motown and the Mystery of the Muse, Dozier was approached by Motown founder Berry Gordy in the 1950s, where he signed and became a pioneering songwriter on the label. As part of songwriting and production team Holland-Dozier-Holland with brothers Brian and Eddie Holland, Dozier’s songwriting genius is behind countless Hitsville U.S.A. classic. Creating the “Motown sound,” the trio’s catalog features ten No. 1 hits for The Supremes including 1964’s “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” and “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.”
Collaborating on over 200 songs during their career, the trio wrote for acts including The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, The Isley Brothers, The Miracles, Martha and The Vandellas, Dionne Warwick and more.
In 1973, Dozier left the group to embark on a solo career, releasing his debut album Out Here on My Own. Releasing twelve albums during his life, Dozier also contributed to the likes of Aretha Franklin, Odyssey and later Phil Collins, collaborating with the English musician on 1988 track “Two Hearts” for ’80s romantic comedy Buster. The song would go on to win a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television in 1989.
In 1990, Holland-Dozier-Holland were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Dozier was survived by his six children. His late wife, Barbara Ullman Dozier, died in 2021.
Read tributes to Lamont Dozier below.
Gerry & I respected Holland Dozier Holland over at Motown. Striving to keep up with them made us better songwriters.
Rest In Peace and power Lamont Dozier. pic.twitter.com/S5kWQ25gGj
— Carole King (@Carole_King) August 9, 2022
It's a sad week for music as, along with the recent death of The Seekers' Judith Durham & yesterday's sad news of @olivianj, it's just been announced Lamont Dozier, who helped define the 60's Motown sound, has died. There'll be a loud Heavenly choir up there tonight! RIP Lamont. pic.twitter.com/dNOt5Hi52i
— Elaine Paige (@elaine_paige) August 9, 2022
Rest easy, Lamont Dozier, natural born hitmaker. pic.twitter.com/yspwx7zzBm
— Wax Poetics (@waxpoetics) August 9, 2022
Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland, and Brian Holland with the Supremes in the Motown studio, 1965. pic.twitter.com/NnG7E73WEC
— Hanif Abdurraqib (@NifMuhammad) August 9, 2022
We have lost one of the GREATEST songwriters of all time, my friend and songwriting idol Lamont Dozier. Not only brilliant but a lovely kind man. So many of he best Motown were written by him. Lamont your songs will live forever and in that way U will live forever🎵🎶📻💔
— Diane Warren (@Diane_Warren) August 9, 2022
Lamont Dozier, the Motown songwriter behind hits for the Supremes, the Four Tops, and the Isley Brothers, has died at 81.
The classics: “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,”“Stop! In the Name of Love,”“I Can’t Help Myself,” “It’s the Same Old Song” and “Reach Out I’ll Be There.” pic.twitter.com/HEZZO5kopj
— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) August 9, 2022
Another man that sat down and taught me a lot about music is gone. The great Lamont Dozier. I'll never forget meeting and working with him along with the Holland Brothers in 2006.
Thank you for all you did for me and for the world at large. You definitely made this place better. pic.twitter.com/m6p01h4y6K
— Brandon Williams (@bwilliamsmusic) August 9, 2022
Sleep peacefully Lamont Dozier (June 16, 1941 – August 9, 2022) and thank you for the music 🙏🏾❤️ pic.twitter.com/RAkWLvYsD3
— Lorraine King (@lorrainemking) August 9, 2022