Stevie Wonder Collaborator Sylvia Moy Dies at 78

Gilles Petard/Redferns
Sylvia Moy photographed circa 1963.

Sylvia Moy, the Motown songwriter who collaborated on such breakthrough Stevie Wonder hits as “My Cherie Amour” and “I Was Made to Love Her,” died on Friday. According to the Detroit Free Press, Moy died at Beaumont (Oakwood) Hospital in Dearborn, Michigan, following complications from pneumonia. She was 78.

Moy’s death occurred on the same day that Wonder received ASCAP’s inaugural Key of Life Award.

As one of Motown’s first female songwriter/producers, Moy was instrumental in shaping the label’s pioneering legacy. She, Wonder and fellow songwriter Henry Cosby initially teamed up in 1965 to write Wonder’s No. 1 R&B and No. 3 pop single “Uptight (Everything’s Alright).” The trio went on to pen the aforementioned Billboard Hot 100 hits “Amour” and “I Was Made" as well as “I’m Wondering” and “Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day.”

Among the Detroit native’s additional credits are The Isley Brothers’ “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)” and Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston’s “It Takes Two.” Moy, a six-time Grammy Award nominee, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006 with Cosby.

Sony/ATV, publisher of Moy’s classic songs that are part of Motown’s Jobete catalog, issued a statement to Billboard: “We are extremely sad to hear about the death of Sylvia Moy whose songwriting played an important part in Motown’s history, including its influence on Stevie Wonder’s career. Her songwriting versatility is also evident in songs including ‘It Takes Two’ and ‘This Old Heart Of Mine.’ She additionally broke down barriers as one of Motown’s first ever female producers. Her classic songs will live on forever.”