One of Motown’s founding artists and most gifted songwriters, Barrett Strong, has died at 81.
No other details have been released.
Strong sang lead on the record label’s breakthrough single and first major hit ”Money (That’s What I Want)” in 1960, then later collaborated on classics such as ”I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” ”War,” and ”Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” with producer Norman Whitfield.
”Barrett was not only a great singer and piano players, but he, along with his writing partner Norman Whitfield, created an incredible body of work,” said Motown founder Berry Gordy.
(Strong, left, and Whitfield / 1966)
The duo’s work also included ”Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me),” ”I Wish It Would Rain,” ”Cloud Nine,” ”Psychedelic Shack,” and ”I Can’t Get Next to You.”
Strong was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004.
Whitfield died in 2008.
The music of Strong, Whitfield and other Motown writers was later featured in the Broadway hit ”Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.”