Motown songwriter Lamont Dozier dies aged 81, pictured in New York in 1990
Motown legend Lamont Dozier has died aged 81.
The songwriting genius behind classics such as “Baby Love” and “Two Hearts” has passed away, his son Lamont Dozier Jr has confirmed. instagram.
He wrote alongside a photo of the couple: “Rest in Heavenly Peace Dad!!!”
The cause of death is not known at this time.
Producer Brandon Williams paid tribute to Lamont, writing, “Another man who sat down and taught me so much about music is gone.
“The great Lamont Dozier. I will never forget meeting him and working with him with the Holland Brothers in 2006. Thank you for all you have done for me and for the world in general. You definitely made this place better.
Lamont was one-third of the iconic Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting trio known for co-writing huge hits for Motown bands such as The Four Tops, The Supremes and The Isley Brothers.
Their songwriting credits also include “Reach Out I’ll Be There”, “Where Did Our Love Go”, and “Baby I Need Your Love”.
Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote and produced over 200 songs, their time at Motown between 1962 and 1967 helping to define the sound.
Dozier’s son, Lamont Dozier Jr, posted a photo of the couple on Instagram and wrote, “Rest in Heavenly Peace Dad!!!”
Dozier performs onstage during a rehearsal at the Royal Festival Hall in London on September 22, 2001
From left to right are Diana Ross, Lamont Dozier (at piano), Mary Wilson, Eddie Holland, Florence Ballard (seated) and Brian Holland in the Motown studio circa 1965 in Detroit
Lamont Dozier at Air Studio at Montserrat Divers
Born in Detroit, Michigan, aka Music City, Lamont’s first foray into music was singing in the gospel choir at this local Baptist church.
Motown boss Berry Gordy first approached him when he was with a band called the Romeos, but he was only 16 and didn’t immediately jump at the chance.
He started working for a sister label called Anna Records, jumping ship for Motown when the company went bankrupt.
The Motown label had a band called the Matadors, who became the Miracles – their hits “Shop Around” and “Please Mr Postman” propelled the label to enormous fame.
There, Lamont met Brian and Eddie Holland, the beginnings of the now world-famous writing production team.
“We were as surprised as anyone when we wrote so many songs.” he said in an interview with The Guardian in 2015.
The team would enter the studio at 9 a.m. and often work until 3 a.m., grinding song after song.
Some took 15 minutes, while others took 15 days to work.
He said they were on a mission to write upbeat, upbeat music, despite what was going on in the world at the time.
The approach created the signature style of dark lyrics combined with an upbeat tempo familiar to many of their fans.
Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President Leron Gubler, Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland, songwriter Stevie Wonder, record producer Berry Gordy, singer Mary Wilson and Councilman Tom LaBonge attend the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony honoring Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland at Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 13, 2015
Lamont Dozier, Boy George and producer Stewart Levine at Air Studios in the Caribbean island of Montserrat Divers
It became our style: making lemonade with lemons,” he said. “I think that’s why the songs have lasted, all over the world.”
Lamont and his siblings Eddie and Brian Holland would get their first string of hits with the Vandellas’ “Come and Get These Memories” and “Heatwave” in 1963.
A year later, they hit the big time with the Supremes’ mega-hit “Where Did Our Love Go,” their first No. 1, and certainly not their last, as they scored nine other tops.
In 1973, Lamont parted ways with his writing partners and released his own music.
The following decade, he and Phil Collins joined forces on a new rendition of “Two Hearts” for the soundtrack to the 1988 film “Buster.”
It topped the charts and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for Motion Picture or Television in 1989.
In 1990, Holland-Dozier-Holland was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Towards the end of his life, Lamont branched out into the field of musical theatre.
Lamont’s songwriting credits include tracks for artists like Kanye West, Sir Rod Stewart, Lil Wayne and Solange, to name a few.
“Your dad lives forever in the beautiful music he shared with the world,” one Instagram user commented on Lamont Dozier Jr’s post.
Other fans took to social media to commemorate Dozier’s passing.
The group Simply Red, who wrote four songs with Dozier, described him as “one of the greatest songwriters of all time”.
“Rest easy, Lamont Dozier, born hitmaker,” another fan said.