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Barrett Strong Biography
Barrett Strong is an American singer and songwriter best known for his work as a songwriter, particularly in association with producer Norman Whitfield. He is also the first artist to record a hit for Motown. Among his most famous work at Motown, Barrett wrote the lyrics for many of the songs recorded by the Temptations.
Barrett Strong Career
Strong was among the first artists signed to Berry Gordy‘s fledgling label, Tamla Records, and was the performer on the company’s first hit, “Money (That’s What I Want)”, which reached No. 2 US R&B in 1960. “Money” was originally released on Tamla, Motown’s first label, but was later leased to the Anna label as it was getting airplay, and it was on the Anna label that it was a hit.
It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA. The song was later recorded by a number of acts, including the Kingsmen, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Richard Wylie and His Band, the Searchers, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Flying Lizards, the Sonics and Buddy Guy.
Barrett claims that he co-wrote “Money” with Janie Bradford and Gordy; his name appears on the song’s original copyright registration with the United States Copyright Office. Berry Gordy disputed these claims, stating that Strong’s name was only included because of a clerical error.
In the mid 1960s, Barrett Strong became a Motown writer lyricist, teaming with producer Norman Whitfield. Together, they wrote some of the most successful and critically acclaimed soul songs ever to be released by Motown, including “War” by Edwin Starr; “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by both Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight & the Pips; “Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)” by Paul Young; “Smiling Faces Sometimes” by the Undisputed Truth, amongst others.
Barrett Strong Photo
Barrett received a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in 1973 for “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”. He and Whitfield also co-wrote the ballad “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)”, a 1971 Billboard No. 1 that also marked the last Temptations single to feature original members Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams.
After Motown moved its operations base from Detroit, Michigan, to Los Angeles, California, Barrett left the label and resumed his singing career. Strong signed with Epic in 1972. He left the label for Capitol Records, where he recorded two albums in the 1970s.
In the 1980s, he recorded “Rock It Easy” on an independent label, co-wrote the Dells’ “Stay in My Corner,” and wrote “You Can Depend on Me”, which appeared on their The Second Time album (1988). Strong was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004.
He has re-released his latest album, Stronghold II, which he wrote and composed in collaboration with rocker/songwriter Eliza Neals in 2008, in digital format only.
In 2010, he appeared in “Misery”, his first music video in his fifty years of recording music, co-produced by Eliza Neals and Martin “Tino” Gross with Strong at the helm.
Barrett Strong Age
Strong was born on February 5, 1941 in West Point, Mississippi, United States. He is 78 years old as of 2019.
Barrett Strong Wife
Strong likes to keep his personal life private hence it is not known if he is married or not. It is also not known if he has any children.
Barrett Strong Net Worth
Strong has an estimated net worth of $12 Million which he has earned from his career as a singer and songwriter.
Barrett Strong Albums
- 1975: Stronghold (No. 47 – Billboard Black Albums chart)
- 1976: Live & Love
- 1987: Love Is You
- 2008: Stronghold II
Barrett Strong Songs
- 1959: “Let’s Rock” , “Do the Very Best You Can”
- 1959: “Money (That’s What I Want)” / “Oh I Apologize”
- 1960: “Yes, No, Maybe So” , “You Knows What To Do”
- 1960: “Whirlwind” (with The Rayber Voices)” , “I’m Gonna Cry (If You Quit Me)”
- 1961: “Money and Me” , “You Got What It Takes”
- 1961: “Misery” , “Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right”
- 1962: “Seven Sins” , “What Went Wrong”
- 1964: “Make Up Your Mind” , “I Better Run”
- 1972: “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”
- 1973: “Stand Up and Cheer for the Preacher” , (instrumental version)
- 1975: “Surrender” , “There’s Something About You”
- 1975: “Is It True” , “Anywhere”
- 1976: “Man Up In the Sky” , “Gonna Make It Right”
- 1980: “Love Is You” , “You Make Me Feel the Way You Do”
- 1981: “Rock It Easy” , “Love Will Make It Alright”