Harvey Fuqua, member of the Moonglows, died in Detroit on Tuesday (July 6) of coronary problems, the Motown Alumni Association said. He was 80.
Fuqua got his big break with the Moonglows, a group he formed in 1951. They were discovered by rock 'n' roll DJ Alan Freed, who got them signed to Chess Records. The Fuqua-penned tune "Sincerely" made the top 30 in 1955, and he sang lead on their best-known song, 1958's "Ten Commandments of Love."
Fuqua helped jumpstart the careers of such acts as Etta James, the Spinners, Junior Walker & the All Stars and Marvin Gaye.
Fuqua brought Gaye to the Moonglows in 1958, and later on to Motown. He co-produced Gaye's duets with Tammi Terrell "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Your Precious Love." Additionally they produced and co-wrote (with Vernon Bullock) the single "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You."
In the 1980s, Fuqua helped Gaye record his comeback record "Sexual Healing." Fuqua is credited as "production adviser" on the ensuing album "Midnight Love," the last released in Gaye's lifetime.
Fuqua created his own labels, Harvey and Tri-Phi Records, whose roster included Gaye and the Spinners. He also produced records for Etta James. Fuqua's roster was absorbed by Motown where he became the head of the artist development department and later married Berry Gordy's sister, Gwen.
He left the label in 1971, signed a production deal with RCA Records, discovered disco singer Sylvester and reunited the Moonglows. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.