Motown hitmaker Marilyn McLeod dies at 82

(November 26, 2021) She was part of one of the great songwriting teams of the 1970s and 80s, and left a string of Motown smashes that we revere even in 2021. Today we say a sad goodbye to the great Marilyn McLeod, who penned top hits for Diana Ross, Jermaine Jackson and more.

The Detroit-born McLeod was part of a very musical family. Her sister, Alice Coltrane (wife of John Coletrane), and her brother Ernie Farrow, were both noted jazz stars. But McLeod focused her more on her skills as a songwriter, joining the Motown writing staff in the late 1960s.

Teaming with legendary songwriters Johnny Bristol and Pam Sawyer, McLeod composed a string of songs that are now R&B classics, including “Love Hangover” for Diana Ross, “You Can’t Turn Me Off” by High Inergy, and Jermaine Jackson’s “Let Me Tickle Your Fancy.”

(November 26, 2021) She was part of one of the great songwriting teams of the 1970s and 80s, and left a string of Motown smashes that we revere even in 2021. Today we say a sad goodbye to the great Marilyn McLeod, who penned top hits for Diana Ross, Jermaine Jackson and more.

The Detroit-born McLeod was part of a very musical family. Her sister, Alice Coltrane (wife of John Coletrane), and her brother Ernie Farrow, were both noted jazz stars. But McLeod focused her more on her skills as a songwriter, joining the Motown writing staff in the late 1960s.

Teaming with legendary songwriters Johnny Bristol and Pam Sawyer, McLeod composed a string of songs that are now R&B classics, including “Love Hangover” for Diana Ross, “You Can’t Turn Me Off” by High Inergy, and Jermaine Jackson’s “Let Me Tickle Your Fancy.”

In a beautiful tribute on social media, Sawyer wrote, in part, "I cherish the hours and years we spent together writing , laughing and enjoying that special connection that close cowriters have when they get that mutual 'aaah' feeling for just the right riff, chord or word that either one discovers and both love."

McLeod continued to write for artists after she left Motown, and even released her own album, I Believe In Me, in 2010. Sadly, the last part of her life was challenging, following a stroke she suffered.

While we say goodbye to this R&B giant, we will remember her incredible contributions to music that will be part of our lives for years to come.

 

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