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Sylvia Moy, Motown pioneer and Stevie Wonder collaborator, dies at 78

By Brian McCollum , Detroit Free Press

Songwriter and producer Sylvia Moy, who helped spark Stevie Wonder’s career while breaking barriers for women at Motown Records, died Saturday night at Beaumont (Oakwood) Hospital in Dearborn. She was 78.

Moy, a Detroit native, gave Wonder his second Top 10 hit with 1965’s “Uptight (Everything’s Alright).” The song’s success won over Motown chief Berry Gordy Jr. and earned Moy a trusted spot on the label’s creative team.

Often in tandem with collaborator Hank Cosby, she went on to co-write other key Wonder hits — including “I Was Made to Love Her” (1967) and “My Cherie Amour” (1969) — along with the Isley Brothers’ “This Old Heart of Mine” and the Marvin Gaye-Kim Weston duet “It Takes Two.”

Moy died of apparent complications from pneumonia, following a stay in Detroit’s Harper University Hospital, said her sister Anita Moy.

“She broke that glass ceiling for women in the music industry,” said her brother Melvin Moy. “In the ’60s, women weren’t encouraged to play instruments, let alone be producers.”


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