February 16, 1940 – February 23, 2017
Leon Ware was an American singer, songwriter and producer who was celebrated for the many hits he crafted for others. Born in Detroit, Ware began writing professionally in 1967. Later that year, the first recording note of a song he co-wrote was released; “Got To Have You Back,” by the Isley Brothers. A couple of years later, he hooked up with Ike & Tina Turner to co-write six songs on their album, Nuff Said. What followed was nearly four decades of hit songs for the likes of Michael Jackson, Minnie Riperton, Quincy Jones, and Marvin Gaye. In Gaye’s case, every song on his I Want You album was penned or co-penned by Ware who also produced the landmark album. It sold over a million copies and is considered a must-have for any album collection. Ware also recorded nearly a dozen albums of his own, the most successful being 1979’s Inside Is Love, and the most recent, 2008’s Moon Ride. Leon Ware was 77 when he died of prostate cancer on February 23, 2017.