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Barrett Strong


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Barrett Strong (born February 5, 1941 in West Point, Mississippi) is an American singer and songwriter. Strong was among the first artists signed to Berry Gordy’s Motown label, and is the performer on the label’s first hit, “Money (That’s What I Want)” (#2 US R&B in 1960).

In the mid-1960s, Strong became a Motown staff lyricist, teaming with producer Norman Whitfield. Together, Strong and Whitfield wrote some of the most successful and critically acclaimed songs ever to be released by Motown, including “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by both Gladys Knight & the Pips and Marvin Gaye, “War” by Edwin Starr, “Smiling Faces Sometimes” by The Undisputed Truth, and the long line of “psychedelic soul” records by The Temptations, including “Cloud Nine”, “I Can’t Get Next to You”, “Psychedelic Shack”, “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World is Today)”, and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”, among others. Strong received a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song for co-writing “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”.

After Motown moved its operations base from Detroit, Michigan to Los Angeles, California, Strong left the label and resumed his singing career, recording two albums for Capitol Records in the mid-1970s.


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  • HaHaHaYoureDead

    исполнитель одной песни, зато великой

    19 Jul 2014 Reply
  • DickBigems

    He was an one hit wonder, but redeemingly, he did write hits for other artists with Norman Whitfield during his tenure at Motown. He definitely deserves props for performing the first hit for Motown though. If it weren't for "Money (That's What I Want)", who knows if Motown could've lasted through its low periods before it really started to pop off.

    16 Jul 2014 Reply
  • HE1NZ

    Misery > Money

    6 Jun 2014 Reply
  • marjo47

    Good Soul voice never to forget.

    10 Apr 2014 Reply
  • PabloFI

    Not a one hit wonder

    18 Mar 2014 Reply
  • IamFlood

    His other songs are good! The Complete Motown Collection is excellent.

    15 Apr 2013 Reply
  • Ariues

    V i dont know much about the 60s r&b scene but if hit means popular record or top 10 record then maybe "one hit wonder" is accurate. maybe youre assuming he means song that YOU like.

    12 Jun 2012 Reply
  • nicoinfurs

    So, so ignorant to call him a "one hit wonder". You clearly know shit.

    15 Aug 2011 Reply
  • Yastrzemski


    26 Jun 2010 Reply
  • ByronT

    I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Papa Was a Rollin' Stone, Psychedelic Shack, Ball of Confusion, Just My Imagination, War ... and plenty more... This man is a songwriting legend.

    13 Oct 2009 Reply
  • Triebert91

    That's what I want!

    17 Sep 2009 Reply
  • pRAtt_aka_Ali

    one hit wonder...

    17 May 2009 Reply
  • TorontoSHARP


    3 Apr 2009 Reply
  • ElectricSoul921

    A good example of early Motown. Also, wrote and produced many Motown classics in the late 60's/early 70's.

    2 Mar 2009 Reply
  • homeboy5925

    tiny toons throwback

    6 Jun 2007 Reply