L. Busacca/WireImage for Songwriter’s Hall of FameSylvia Moy, a member of Motown Records’ stable of songwriters during the 1960s and co-writer of several classic Stevie Wonder hits, died Saturday, April 15, at the age of 78, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Moy’s sister Anita tells the newspaper that Sylvia apparently died of complications from pneumonia at a hospital in Dearborn, Michigan.
The first hit Moy helped write with — and for — Wonder was 1965’s “Uptight (Everything’s Alright),” which peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was his second top 5 hit ever. The tune was also co-written by Henry Crosby, who frequently collaborated with Moy and Wonder.
Other Wonder hits co-penned by Sylvia, Henry and Stevie included “I Was Made to Love Her,” “My Cherie Amour” and “Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day,” all of which reached the top 10 of the Hot 100.
Initially interested in a recording career herself, Moy was signed by Motown in 1963 to recording contract, a management contract and a songwriter’s contract. But she told the Free Press in 2016 that the label was more interested in her songwriting ability than promoting her as an artist, so she focused on penning tunes. She became one of the few female songwriters embraced by the label’s creative team.
Moy also co-wrote hits for a number of other artists, including The Isley Brothers‘ “This Old Heart of Mine” and Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston‘s “It Takes Two.”
Later in life, Moy founded a Detroit non-profit organization called Center for Creative Communications that provided opportunities for underprivileged students in the fields of media arts and telecommunications.
She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame alongside Crosby in 2006.
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