Lamont Dozier, Motown Icon Known for ‘Baby Love’ and ‘Two Hearts,’ Dead at 81

by Alex Falls

Lamont Dozier, the Motown legend behind hits for artists such as the Supremes, the Four Tops and the Isley Brothers, has died. He was 81.

The news was confirmed by his son Lamont Dozier Jr on Instagram. No cause of death has been released at this time.

Born in Detroit, Michigan on June 16th, 1941, Dozier started his music career working around Detroit with little success. But his luck changed in 1962 when he and songwriting brothers Brian and Eddie Holland started work at Motown.

As one-third of the production team Holland–Dozier–Holland, Dozier was responsible for 10 of the Supremes’ 12 US number 1 hit singles. Including “Baby Love” and “You Keep Me Hanging On.” The trio was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

Holland-Dozier-Holland penned and produced more than 200 songs. Their tenure at Motown between 1962 and 1967 helped define the famous Motown sound. 

After leaving Holland–Dozier–Holland in 1973, Dozier pursued a successful solo career. One of his early singles, “Going Back To My Roots,” later became a huge success for the disco group Odyssey in 1981. Seven years later Dozier collaborated with Phil Collins on the number 1 hit, “Two Hearts.” For which the pair won a Golden Globe and a Grammy.

The Music World Remembers Lamont Dozier

Dozier was a revered figure in the world of music. Even if many people in the general audience don’t recognize his name, those in the industry know just how much influence Dozier had. Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys quickly posted a tribute of his own to the fallen icon.

Ronnie Wood, who covered the trio’s 1963 single “Leaving Home” in 2001, paid tribute to Dozier on Twitter as well. “God bless Lamont. His music will live on.” Mick Hucknall, who worked with Dozier in the 1980s, also tweeted his condolences calling him, “One of the greatest songwriters of all time.”

Those in the know will remember Dozier for his tireless effort to fill the world with quality music. He leaves behind an unrivaled legacy that any musician would be proud of.

Dozier is survived by his second wife, Barbara Ullman Dozier, and his six children.