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Prince Protege Vanity Dies at 57

She said she got a 2nd chance after quitting music biz

(Newser) - Prince protege Denise Matthews, better known to '80s music fans as Vanity, has died from kidney failure at a hospital in California, the Los Angeles Times reports. She was 57. The Canadian-born lead singer of the group Vanity 6 had several big hits in the early '80s, including... More »

'Brokenhearted' Motown Legend Dead at 78

'What Becomes of the Brokenhearted' was Jimmy Ruffin's biggest hit

(Newser) - The Motown singer whose ballad "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" was a big hit in 1966 has died at the age of 78. Jimmy Ruffin died Monday in a Las Vegas hospital of undisclosed causes, family members confirm to the AP . Ruffin, originally from Mississippi, moved to Detroit in... More »

Miracles Singer Bobby Rogers Dead at 73

Smokey Robinson mourns Motown collaborator

(Newser) - Bobby Rogers, a founding member of Motown hit machine The Miracles, has died at the age of 73 after a long illness. Rogers—a songwriter and choreographer as well as one of the group's five voices—kept the group going through various incarnations until health issues forced him to... More »

Motown Legends Play White House

Obamas host celebration of Detroit sound

(Newser) - The White House grooved to the Motown sound at a star-studded celebration Thursday night. Before artists including John Legend, Seal and Jamie Foxx took the stage, President Obama called Motown music "the soundtrack of the civil rights era" and credited the Detroit sound with helping "blur the line... More »

New Jackson 5 Tracks Drop in Nov.

New single 'That's How Love Is' available online now

(Newser) - The Jackson 5 may well be back on the charts this November with the release of I Want You Back! Unreleased Masters, a collection of never-before-heard material and alternate versions of beloved tunes. One of the new songs, “That’s How Love Is,” can be heard on the... More »

Obamas Honor Stevie Wonder

Soul legend gets lifetime achievement award, White House concert

(Newser) - The First Couple last night honored Stevie Wonder with an award, a White House concert and an acknowledgment of the role his music has played in their relationship, reports ABC News. The president presented the Motown legend with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song lifetime achievement award. Guests, including Paul... More »

Motown Giants Mark 50 Years of Music

Abdul "Duke" Fakir: Studio A is hallowed ground

(Newser) - Musical legends gathered today at Hitsville, USA—Motown Records' original headquarters—to celebrate the Detroit label's 50th anniversary, Billboard reports. The Four Tops' Abdul "Duke" Fakir was joined by musicians from bands such as the Miracles and Martha & the Vandellas to pay tribute to Barry Gordy, who started... More »

Mac Gives Soul to Uneven Film

Critics divided, but star wins them over

(Newser) - Soul Men is the cinematic swan song of both Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes, and they undoubtedly deserve better, “given how easily it slips into conventionally vulgar and predictably crude” humor, writes John Anderson in Newsday. Still, get past the “old-man jokes, low-rent sex humor” and the film... More »

Four Tops Singer Dead At 72

Stubbs' baritone was featured on many Motown hits

(Newser) - Baritone Levi Stubbs, the heart of the Four Tops, died today in Detroit at age 72, the Detroit News reports. With Abdul Fakir, Lawrence Payton and Renaldo Benson, Stubbs recorded many iconic hits of the Motown era, including Bernadette, Reach Out (I’ll Be There), and Standing in the Shadows ... More »

Motown Great Norman Whitfield Dies

Grammy-winner who wrote 'Heard it Through the Grapevine' was 67

(Newser) - Norman Whitfield, the visionary producer who helped shape the Motown era, has died at 67 from diabetes complications, the Los Angeles Times reports. Whitfield produced most of the Temptations’ recordings, and co-wrote dozens of Motown standouts, including Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard it Through the Grapevine.” It was... More »

Duffy Latest to Give Motown a UK Twist

Welsh import, following Winehouse et al., makes US TV blitz this week

(Newser) - A 23-year-old Welsh singer is the latest in a wave of pop artists—female, British ones—to channel 1960s Motown, the Wall Street Journal reports. Duffy, who storms the US this week with TV talk-show appearances and a performance at the Apollo tonight, is already a hit across Europe, her... More »

Martha Reeves' Stolen Equipment Turns Up

Detroit pawnshop has 'big piece of electronic something' belonging to Motown star

(Newser) - Recording equipment reported stolen from former Motown star Martha Reeves has turned up in a Detroit pawnshop, the Free Press reports. The equipment was taken last week from the childhood home of Reeves, who's now a Motor City councilwoman. More »

12 Stories