R&B singer Harvey Fuqua dead at 80

July 9, 2010 at 12:04 PM
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DETROIT, July 9 (UPI) -- Harvey Fuqua, the soul singer, songwriter, record producer and record label executive who founded the Moonglows, has died at a Detroit hospital.

He was 80.

Fuqua died Tuesday, the Motown Alumni Association said in a statement on its Web site. No cause of death was specified.

The Kentucky native is credited with discovering singer Marvin Gaye and other music greats.

The Moonglows counted among their hits "Sincerely," "Most of All," "See Saw" and "Please Send Me Someone To Love." The band broke up in 1958.

In addition to producing Gaye's music, Fuqua also recorded Lamont Dozier, Johnny Bristol and Etta James.

He started his own independent labels, Tri-Phi and Harvey Records, in 1961, and his roster included the Spinners, Junior Walker & the All Stars and Shorty Long.

Berry Gordy later hired him to head Motown's Artist Development department.

In 1971, Fuqua left Motown Records, signing a production deal with RCA Records. He also discovered disco pioneer Sylvester, producing several hit singles, including "Dance (Disco Heat") and "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real.)" Fuqua was Smokey Robinson's road manager for a while, as well.

The Moonglows reunited in 1972, with Fuqua, Bobby Lester, Alexander "Pete" Graves, Doc Williams, and Chuck Lewis. They produced an LP, "The Return of the Moonglows," and did a remake of "Sincerely."

In the summer of 1982, Fuqua reunited with Gaye on Gaye's "Midnight Love" LP, which sold 2 million copies, including the gold single "Sexual Healing," which stayed at No. 1 on the R&B chart for 10 weeks.

The Moonglows received the 1995 Pioneer Award. They were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

In 2000, Fuqua set up his own Resurging Artist Records, and was an advisory board member of The Rhythm and Blues Foundation.

Fuqua was working with S.T.A.R.S., an inspirational group, when he died.

Memorial services are pending, the Motown Alumni Association said.

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