Motown Songwriter Lamont Dozier Passes Away At 81

Lamont Dozier, the legendary songwriter, and producer from Motown has passed away.

Dozier was best known for his help with big artists such as The Isley Brothers, The Supremes, The Four Tops, and more. His death was announced by his son, Lamont Dozier Jr., via Instagram. He wrote, “Rest in Heavenly Peace, Dad!” 

Dozier was born on June 16, 1941, in Detroit and would go on to pursue a singing career where he performed with different local doo-wop groups.

In 1962, he signed with Berry Gordy’s Motown records as an artist, songwriter, and producer where he started working closely with The Holland Brothers; Brian, and Eddie. They formed the group H-D-H and put out some songs during their time together. However, they wouldn’t reach success until 1963, when they scored their first Top 10 hits for “Heat Wave” and “Quicksand” by Martha and the Vandellas.

Dozier and Brian Holland were the producers and arrangers on the songs, while Eddie Holland wrote the lyrics and put together the vocal productions. 

The three of them would go on to write and produce three of the Supremes’ songs; “Baby Love”, “Come See About Me,” and “Where Did Our Love Go.” 

In a 2003 interview with Rolling Stone, Dozier reflected on his time working with H-D-H and said, “Brian and I used to have lunch at that little walk-up, and once that wheel started rolling with ‘Where Did Our Love Go’, I said, ‘Man, we’ve stumbled up into something- are you feeling this?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I’m feeling it too.’ I said, ‘I don’t know what this is, but I don’t think this thing is going to stop.’ It was like being at the carnival and hitting that bell, Bam! Number one! Bam! Number one! Bam! Number One! When we weren’t doing that with the Supremes, we were over here with the Four Tops. Bam! It was surreal.” 

Throughout his career, Dozier has worked with artists including Marvin Gaye, Chairmen of the Board, Freda Payne, and Phil Collins. In 1988, H-D-H was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 1990 inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

In 2019, Dozier was working on publishing his memoir titled, How Sweet It Is, where he will be reflecting on his career and work over the years. 

“Everything I write, I give credit to God, the master muse,” he said in an interview. “I thank him for letting me put my name on his music. That’s how I started regarding it. I don’t read music, and I can’t write it either. I did it all by ear and feeling when I sat down at the piano… But I still hear that stuff over and over. It still hasn’t let up. They still play that music, man. It’s amazing. I thought some of it wouldn’t last a day. But it’s been here for 60 years, and that’s a great feeling- all over the world.”