The music industry has lost another behind the scenes legend. Motown songwriter Deke Richards, the leader of songwriting/production team, The Corporation, has died at the age of 68. The music industry pioneer lost a battle with esophageal cancer on Sunday, March 24 while staying at the Whatcom Hospice House. He is survived by his wife Joan Lussier and other relatives.
Motown founder Berry Gordy brought in Richards along with Fonce Mizell and Freddie Perren to pen songs for his label's roster. The songwriting team was a big part of the Jackson 5's success, penning the hits "I Want You Back", "The Love You Save" and "ABC". Richards also co-wrote Diana Ross and The Supremes' classic hit "Love Child" and Ross' solo hit "I'm Still Waiting".
A private ceremony has been arranged to celebrate Richards' life. In addition, the family would like all music industry colleagues and fans to support music education by donating via the HAL awards' site.