Deke Richards dies, Richards wrote classics for Jackson 5, Diana Ross (+video)
Deke Richards, whose real name was Dennis Lussier, along with Motown founder Berry Gordy, Alphonzo Mizell and Freddie Perren comprised 'The Corporation,' the label's in-house producers and writers in the 1960s and 1970s.
Deke¬†Richards, who led the prolific songwriting and producing team at¬†Motown¬†Records that wrote for the Jackson 5 under the simple heading The Corporation, has died,Universal Music¬†said on Monday.
Richards, 68, died on Sunday at the Whatcom Hospice House in¬†Bellingham,¬†Washington, surrounded by his immediate family,¬†Universal Music¬†said in a statement. He had been battling a long illness, it said.
Richards, whose real name was¬†Dennis Lussier, along with¬†Motown¬†founder¬†Berry Gordy,¬†Alphonzo Mizell¬†and¬†Freddie Perren¬†comprised "The Corporation," the label's in-house producers and writers in the 1960s and 1970s.
The Corporation wrote and produced the Jackson 5's first three songs to reach No. 1: "I Want You Back," "ABC," and "The Love You Save," as well as many others, Universal said.¬†Richards¬†also wrote for¬†Diana Ross,¬†Martha Reeves¬†& the Vandellas, and other artists.
Richards¬†is survived by his wife,¬†Joan Lussier; his brother,¬†Dane Lussier; and nephews¬†Chris Lussier¬†and¬†Cory Lussier. (Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Catherine Evans)