.

Marvin Gaye, Temptations Producer Norman Whitfield Dies

September 18, 2008 9:05 AM ET

Motown producer and songwriter Norman Whitfield, who helped craft some of the Detroit label's biggest hits, died Tuesday at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Hospital. He was 65. While an exact cause of death wasn't revealed, Whitfield reportedly suffered ailments from diabetes. Whitfield started out at Motown as a tambourine player before writing some early hits for Marvin Gaye with lyricist Barrett Strong. One of those songs, "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," ended up topping multiple charts and became the label's biggest hit of the '60s. Whitfield also worked with the Temptations, co-writing their hits "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" as well as "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," which won Motown its first Grammy. Whitfield left Motown in 1973, forming his own Whitfield Records. The label released the Rose Royce hit "Car Wash," and later won Whitfield another Grammy in 1977 for the Car Wash soundtrack.

Related Stories:
Rare Motown Albums Hit the Web Via Lost Tunes Store
Two Marvin Gaye Biopics in the Works
Motown Founder Berry Gordy Honored at Special Grammy Ceremony

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Bleeding Love”

Leona Lewis | 2007

In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com