Lamont Dozier, one-third of one of the most iconic songwriting/production teams in music history, has passed away at the age of 81.
His son, Lamont Dozier Jr. confirmed the news of his passing on Instagram. A cause of death is not known at this time.
Born in Detroit on June 16, 1941, Dozier started his music career, finding little success with small labels in the area. That all changed when he met brothers Eddie and Brian Holland, and in 1962, they landed a spot at Motown. The trio became a part of the hitmaking machine that changed American music forever.
The collective, known as Holland-Dozier-Holland, was responsible for some of Motown’s biggest hits, including 10 of The Supremes’ 12 #1 Billboard hits. Those hits include “Baby Love,” “Where Did Our Love Go,” and “You Keep Me Hanging On.” They also wrote and produced iconic hits for the Four Tops, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, The Isley Brothers, and more.
Post-Motown credits include Phil Collins’ Grammy and Golden Globe-winning “Two Hearts,” Simply Red’s “Infidelity” and “Suffer,” and the Peabo Bryson/Regina Belle duet “Without You.” Dozier also found moderate success as a performer in his own right. His biggest hit was 1974’s “Trying To Hold On To My Woman,” which peaked at #15 on the pop charts and #4 on the R&B charts. He also sang the theme to the classic sitcom That’s My Mama.
Needless to say, Dozier was responsible for music that transcends generations. In a 2019 interview with Detroit Free Press, he spoke on his everlasting legacy. “Everything I write, I give credit to God, the master muse. I thank him for letting me put my name on his music,” Dozier said. “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. I thank God for the chords and melodies and everything I put into it. Because believe me — there’s been a lot of hard work banging on that piano to write a song, and make it a hit on top of that.”
He continued, “But I still hear that stuff over and over. It still hasn’t let up,” he says. “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.”
Dozier leaves behind his wife, Barbara, and six children.