Michael Masser, Songwriter To Diana Ross And Whitney Houston, Dies At 74

Christina Lee | July 11, 2015 8:54 am
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Michael Masser, songwriter to Diana Ross and Whitney Houston, died July 10 after suffering, though never recovering from, a major stroke more than three years ago, The Desert Sun reports. He was 74.

Masser first came to fame in 1973, when he wrote and produced Ross’ “Touch Me in the Morning,” which hit No. 1 and marked her return to music after a brief stint in acting. He earned an Academy Award nomination for co-writing Ross’ “Theme from ‘Mahogany’ (Do You Know Where You’re Going To.)”

Masser then met Houston when they worked with Teddy Pendergrass for “Hold Me,” off the former’s 1985 self-titled debut. He went on to help write three of Houston’s earliest No. 1 hits: “Greatest Love of All” (which he originally wrote in 1977 and produced Whitney’s version), “Saving All My Love For You” and “Didn’t We Almost Have It All.”

He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007, with credits also including Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand and Aretha Franklin.

Both Ross herself and Houston’s estate have expressed their condolences.

“He will live on through his beautiful songs,” Ross said on Twitter, before she posted the title track from 1973’s Last Time I Saw Him — another song that Masser co-wrote for her.

“We are sorry to learn of the passing of the great composer Michael Masser,” Houston’s estate posted on the singer’s official website, along with her “Greatest Love of All” video.

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