LOS ANGELES, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Famed Motown Records producer and songwriter Norman Whitfield has died at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at the age of 67.
"Norman Whitfield was one of the most prolific songwriters and record producers of our time," Smokey Robinson said in a statement issued to the Los Angeles Times this week. "He will live forever through his great music."
The Times said Whitfield, a New York native who was the co-author of dozens of Motown hits and the producer of most of the Temptations' records, reportedly died of complications from his long battle with diabetes. He also had been plagued by heart and kidney problems in recent years, the newspaper noted.
Among the classic songs Whitfield helped create are "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "Ain't Too Proud To Beg," "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)" and "Papa Was a Rolling Stone."
Whitfield left Motown in the 1970s to start his own eponymous record label.
Three years ago, he pleaded guilty to tax evasion and was sentenced to home detention as opposed to prison because of his poor health.