American singer, and record producer, Lamont Herbert Dozier died at the age of 81. No cause of death was given.
His son Lamont Dozier, Jr., said on social media. He was born in Detroit in 1941, he was raised by his churchgoing grandmother, grew up listening to Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals and Nat King Cole, and made his first record aged 15 with a group called the Romeos.
He formed a production team with Brian and Eddie Holland, arriving in the studio at 9 a.m. and working until the early hours. “It was blood, sweat and tears,” he told The Guardian in 2015. “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.”
Their sensibility, he added, yielded “quite dark lyrics”—mostly written by Eddie Holland—“and uplifting, cheerful music, and that became our style: making lemonade out of lemons.”
Holland-Dozier-Holland quickly scored hits for Martha and the Vandellas, the Miracles, and Marvin Gaye, before topping the U.S. charts for the first time with the Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go” in 1964.
His nine more No. 1 hits for the Supremes—including “Baby Love,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” and “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”—Holland-Dozier-Holland were behind the timeless Four Tops classic “Reach Out I’ll Be There” and the quartet’s other No. 1 single, “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch).”
Singer, Lamont Herbert Dozier Died At 81