Leon Haywood, R&B Singer-Songwriter Behind Dr. Dre's 'Nuthin' But a G Thang' Sample, Dies at 74

Gilles Petard/Redferns
Leon Haywood photographed sitting on the bonnet of a Mercedes car, in 1975.

Leon Haywood, the silky smooth R&B singer-songwriter and producer whose 1975 single "I Want'a Do Something Freaky to You" was famously sampled by Dr. Dre and others, has died. He was 74.

Haywood's godson Darnell "OG Cuicide" Price says he died in his sleep Thursday in Los Angeles.

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Haywood's "I Want'a Do Something Freaky to You" served as the groovy hook on the Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg duet "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang." The song was also featured in 50 Cent's "Corner Bodega" and Aaliyah's "I Gotcha Back."

Haywood began his career as a blues musician before achieving success in the '60s, '70s and '80s in the soul, R&B and funk genres.

Haywood charted 20 hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, including the No. 2 hit "Don't Push It Don't Force It," "Keep It In the Family" (which peaked at No. 11) and "I Want'a Do Something Freaky To You" (No. 7). Haywood also wrote Carl Carlton's "She's a Bad Mama Jama (She's Built, She's Stacked)," which reached No. 2 on the chart. Haywood earned his only Grammy Award nomination for writing the tune, garnering a nod in the 1981 best rhythm & blues song category.