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Motown Singer/Songwriter Willie Hutch Dies At 59

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Veteran singer, songwriter, and producer Willie Hutch, who helped compose several hits for the Jackson 5, died Tuesday in Dallas, Texas, at the age of 59.

Best known for his work at Motown, his association with the label began in 1970 when record producer Hal Davis asked Hutch to help complete a song for the Jackson 5. The song, “I’ll Be There” became a hit for the group. His subsequent collaborations with the quintet produced other hits including “Got to Be There” and “Never Can Say Goodbye.”

Hutch was hired by Motown label founder Berry Gordy to work regularly with many other artists, scoring production credits on albums by the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Michael Jackson and Diana Ross, among others.

He soon branched into soundtracks, penning music for the 1973 blaxploitation movie “The Mack.” The critically acclaimed soundtrack spun off two of Hutch’s biggest R&B hits, “Brother’s Gonna Work It Out” and “Slick.”

He released multiple solo albums in the 1970s, and returned to recording over the past 10 years, including releasing his most recent disc, “Sexalicious,” in 2002.

Born Willie McKinley Mutchinson in Los Angeles in 1946, Hutch was raised in Dallas where he began singing as a teenager. He released his first solo single in 1964, “Love Has Put Me Down.” Before joining Motown, he penned songs for legendary group the 5th Dimension. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers