Page last updated at 10:18 GMT, Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Stars mourn Four Tops star Stubbs

Martha Reeves and Berry Gordy Jr
Martha Reeves and Berry Gordy Jr were among the mourners

The funeral of Four Tops singer Levi Stubbs, who died earlier this month aged 72, has taken place in Detroit.

Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr, Martha Reeves and Smokey Robinson were among the hundreds of mourners.

"He made his mark on the world," said Robinson. "All over the world, you'll be able to hear Levi Stubbs forever."

Stubbs, known for such hits as Reach Out (I'll Be There), was called "the greatest lead singer ever" by former Temptations singer Dennis Edwards.

Reeves, lead singer of Martha and The Vandellas, called Stubbs - who gained fame for his deep, rich voice - "my Pavarotti".

Audley Smith, of the Motown Historical Museum, said Stubbs had a voice as unique as Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder.

Motown icon

The singer, he continued, "fits right up there with all the icons of Motown."

Born in 1936 in Detroit, Levi Stubbs met future bandmate Abdul "Duke" Fakir at high school.

They met Lawrence Payton and Obie Benson while singing at a mutual friend's birthday party.

Levi Stubbs
The late Levi Stubbs was famous for his baritone voice
In 1953, they formed a group called The Four Aims and signed a deal with Chess Records.

Later they changed their names to the Four Tops to avoid being confused with the Ames Brothers.

The group signed with Motown Records in 1963 and produced 20 Top 40 hits over the following 10 years.

They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and have sold 50 million records worldwide.

Payton and Benson died in 1997 and 2005 respectively, while Stubbs suffered from ill health towards the end of his life.

His death makes Fakir the only surviving member of the original quartet.

Four Tops star Levi Stubbs dies
17 Oct 08 |  Entertainment
Four Tops' Benson dies of cancer
02 Jul 05 |  Entertainment

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