Singer/songwriter was 59.
Veteran singer/songwriter/producer Willie Hutch died yesterday (Sept. 19) of undisclosed causes in Dallas. He was 59.
Best known for his work at Motown, his association with the label began in 1970 when record producer Hal Davis asked Hutch to help complete a song for the Jackson 5. "I'll Be There" became a hit for the group as did Hutch's subsequent collaborations with the quintet: "Got to Be There" and "Never Can Say Goodbye."
Hired to work regularly with other Motown artists by label founder Berry Gordy, Hutch logged production credits on albums by the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Michael Jackson and Diana Ross, among others.
Branching into soundtracks, Hutch penned the music for the 1973 blaxploitation movie "The Mack." The critically acclaimed soundtrack spun off two of Hutch's biggest R&B hits, "Brother's Gonna Work It Out" and "Slick."
Hutch's other Motown solo albums during the 1970s include "Fully Exposed," "Foxy Brown" and "Concert in Blues," as well as his 1975 top 10 R&B hit, "Love Power." His most recent work includes "From the Heart" (1994), "The Mack Is Back" (1996) and 2002's "Sexalicious."
Born Willie McKinley Hutchinson in Los Angeles in 1946, Hutch was raised in Dallas where he began singing as a teenager. He released his first solo single in 1964, "Love Has Put Me Down." Before working at Motown, Hutch penned songs for the 5th Dimension.