American singer Barrett Strong, figure of the Motown label, is dead
Barrett Strong, in New York, in June 2004. AP - Louis Lanzano
Text by: RFI Follow
American singer Barrett Strong, historic pillar of the famous American soul music label, Motown, has died at the age of 81.
This was announced on Sunday January 29 by the Motown Museum.
Barrett Strong wrote some of Motown's best-known hits.
It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of legendary Motown singer and songwriter Barrett Strong
,” the Detroit-based museum wrote on Twitter.
It is with great sadness that we share the passing of legendary @ClassicMotown singer and songwriter Barrett Strong.
The voice behind @motown's first hit, the iconic “Money (That's What I Want),” was born in West Point, Mississippi on February 5, 1941 and was raised in Detroit.
— Motown Museum (@Motown_Museum) January 30, 2023
Born in Mississippi, he grew up in the American automobile capital and released
Money (That's What I Want)
in 1959 , the first hit of Motown, a major black record company that would acquire an immense influence on soul, rhythms and blues. and beyond.
Along with another Motown Records producer, Norman Whitfield, he would co-write the label's other great hits, including
I Heard It Through the Grapevine,
made famous by Marvin Gaye in 1968, and many Temptations tracks, such as
Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)
Barrett Strong had gone from singer to man in the shadows.
I never felt comfortable as an artist
,” he told
I had to work to support my family.
I'm not looking to be in the limelight, glamor, or that sort of thing.
I just like to work in my studio and see what we can do.
His songs written with Norman Whitfield "
were groundbreaking in their sound and embodied the spirit of that era
," Motown founder Berry Gordy said Sunday, as quoted by
Barrett was a founding member of the Motown family, and he will be greatly missed
,” he added.
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