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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 July, 2005, 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
Four Tops' Benson dies of cancer
The Four Tops original line-up, photographed in 1990
Benson, Levi Stubbs, Abdul "Duke" Fakir and Lawrence Payton
Renaldo "Obie" Benson, a member of Motown singing group the Four Tops, has died, aged 69.

The singer died in a Detroit hospital on Friday from lung cancer. He was diagnosed after having a leg amputated due to circulation problems.

The Four Tops sold 50 million records and had hits including Reach Out (I'll be There) and I Can't Help Myself.

The only surviving original members are Levi Stubbs and Abdul "Duke" Fakir. Lawrence Payton died in 1997.

Fakir said Benson had "enjoyed every moment of his life".

"He put a smile on everyone's face, including my own, " he said.

Live performances

The Four Tops began singing together in the 1950s under the name the Four Aims, before signing with Motown Records in 1963.

Benson was active with the group into his 60s, spending more than a third of each year performing on the road.

The Four Tops last appeared together in April on US TV's Late Show With David Letterman.


SEE ALSO:
Soul singer Luther Vandross dies
02 Jul 05 |  Entertainment
Diva Martha Reeves seeks office
12 Apr 05 |  Entertainment
Motown trio honoured
12 May 03 |  Entertainment
Motown magic undimmed in Detroit
01 Jun 02 |  From Our Own Correspondent


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