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The legendary group Four Tops lost an original member today:

Four Tops lead singer Levi Stubbs, who possessed one of the most dynamic and emotive voices of all the Motown singers, died Friday at 72. He had been ill recently and died in his sleep at the Detroit house he shared with his wife, said Dana Meah, the wife of a grandson. The Wayne County medical examiner’s office also confirmed the death. With Stubbs in the lead, the Four Tops sold millions of records, including such hits as “Baby I Need Your Loving,” “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” and “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch).” The group performed for more than four decades without a change in personnel. Stubbs’ death leaves one surviving member of the original group: Abdul “Duke” Fakir. Stubbs “fits right up there with all the icons of Motown,” said Audley Smith, chief operating officer of the Motown Historical Museum. “His voice was as unique as Marvin’s or as Smokey’s or as Stevie’s.”

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

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