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Motown's Perren Dead at 61

Grammy-winning producer worked with Jackson 5, Gloria Gaynor

December 23, 2004 12:00 AM ET
Grammy-winning producer Freddie Perren died December 16th at his Southern California home after a protracted illness. He was sixty-one years old.

While part of the Motown Records production group the Corporation, Perren helped write and produce the Jackson 5's early hits, alongside Fonce Mizell, Deke Richards and Motown founder Berry Gordy. Tracks that Perren and company wrote include the classics "ABC" and "I Want You Back."

After leaving Motown, Perren produced a pair of tracks on the 1978 Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, winning him an Album of the Year Grammy. He went on to produce a string of hits including disco classics Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive," Yvonne Elliman's "If I Can't Have You" and the Sylvers' "Boogie Fever." "I Will Survive" won Perren his second Grammy, for best disco recording in 1979.

He is survived by his wife Christine Yarian Perren.

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