Barrett Strong, Motown trailblazer with ‘Money’ and more, dies at 81

Artist and songwriter Barrett Strong, who was instrumental in the birth of Motown and played a key role in classic hits such as The Temptations, Marvin Gaye and Edwin Starr, has passed away. he was 81 years old.

Strong stumbled upon Rick, who blossomed into Motown’s first big hit, in 1959 while playing a Ray Charles tune on the piano. “Money (That’s What I Want)”, Strong’s raspy lead with his vocals, sold a million copies and helped ignite the company’s fortunes.

Strong eventually ventured backstage as a songwriter, teaming with producer Norman Whitfield in the mid-1960s for Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight & the Pips (“I Heard it Through the Grapevine”), Edwin Starr ( “War”) and co-wrote the hit song. and the indisputable truth (“Sometimes Smiles”).

Former Motown singer-songwriter Barrett Strong pictured at his home in Woodland Hills, California on January 14, 2019.

But it was with the Temptations that Strong and Whitfield had the most success, with musically adventurous songs such as “Cloud Nine” and “I Wish It Rained” in the late 1960s and early 70s. had a string of hits with songs related to the topic. , “Can’t Be Next To You”, “Psychedelic Shack”, “Ball Of Confusion”, “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)”, “Papa Is A Rolling Stone” .

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