Lamont Dozier Remembered by Diana Ross, Berry Gordy, Diane Warren & More: ‘These Songs Will Be Around for Hundreds of Years’

Following news of Lamont Dozier’s death on Tuesday (Aug. 9), songwriters, artists and music industry executives are remembering the legendary songwriter who helped define the Motown sound of the 1960s and beyond.

With prolific songwriting partners Brian and Eddie Holland, collectively known as Holland/Dozier/Holland, Dozier co-wrote more than 25 top 10 Billboard Hot 100 songs, including The Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “Where Did Our Love Go,” The Four Tops’ “Baby I Need Your Loving” and Marvin Gaye’s “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You).”

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Below is how his friends and colleagues are remembering Dozier in comments solicited by Billboard and on social media.

Berry Gordy, founder of Motown: “We’ve lost a member of one of the great songwriting and producing teams of our time – Lamont Dozier, of the iconic team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. HDH, as we called them, gave the Supremes not only their first No. 1 record ‘Where Did Our Love Go,’ but they followed that with multiple Numbers Ones over the next 3 years. Unheard of. They propelled the Supremes into super stardom and also worked their magic with artists like the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye and Martha and the Vandellas. In the 1960s their sound became synonymous with the ‘Motown Sound.’ Lamont was a brilliant arranger and producer who balanced the talents of the great Eddie and Brian Holland, helping to pull it all together. Lamont was a good friend and will be missed by the entire Motown Family. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.”

Smokey Robinson: “Although he’s no longer on this earth, he will live forever through his vast catalog of wonderful music.”

Diane Warren: “This is such sad news and such a huge loss losing Lamont Dozier, one of the best songwriters of all time but not only that, he was also the kindest and most humble lovely man. I remember someone giving me a Motown songbook when I was a kid and saying, ‘Just study this and you will learn everything you need to know about writing a great song.’ He was right and, of course, so many of them and most of my favorites were written by Lamont with Brian and Eddie Holland. These songs will be around for hundreds of years. The fact that we became friends was always amazing to me. They say never meet your heroes because you will always be disappointed but with Lamont, getting to know him made me love him even more. Those angels are going to be getting a lot of great songs to sing!”

Mike Stoller: “Lamont is not only one of the most talented and creative songwriters, he was also one of the sweetest guys I ever met.”

Evan Lamberg, Universal Music Publishing Group, president, North America: “I just spoke with him 60 days ago and last saw him in August 2021 after Barbara died. I ‘ve known him since the late ‘80s when we went on a songwriting retreat to Ireland together. Lamont an my friendship started on that journey. As a young man really just starting out in the music business, that was an incredibly high honor and privilege to have one of the greatest songwriters—and human beings—of all time become your friend. This friendship lasted 35 years and I cherished every day. Lamont Dozier gave the world some of the best music of all time and made people’s lives so much better for it.”

Linda Moran, Songwriters Hall of Fame president/CEO: “Lamont, a 1988 SHOF inductee, was the 2009 recipient of our most esteemed honor —The Johnny Mercer Award, which goes to an inductee whose songs meet the standard of Mercer’s and whose catalog is considered by his peers to be the pinnacle of songwriting. That sums it up perfectly regarding Lamont’s legacy as a revered songwriter!”

Jody Gerson, Universal Music Publishing Group, chairman and CEO: “I have long cherished my relationship with Lamont Dozier and his wife Barbara. He was not only an iconic songwriter, but also a loving husband and father. He has given the world some of the greatest songs of all time, and personally some of my favorites. The complete songwriter, his contribution to music, spanning five decades will continue to inspire and entertain for generations to come.”

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