Über Willie Hutch
An incredibly skilled singer-songwriter and producer, Willie Hutch was a key figure in Motown's success, writing tunes for many big-name acts, including "I'll Be There" for the Jackson 5. In the 1970s he put together two essential Blaxsploitation soundtracks, The Mack and Foxy Brown, in addition to penning songs for other artists and releasing his own excellent (if under-appreciated) solo albums. The '80s saw him teaming up with Aretha Franklin and Sammy Davis Jr., among others, and contributing music to the Berry Gordy-financed karate action-romance epic The Last Dragon. He kept on recording new material into the millennium, dropping his final album Sexalicious in 2002. Willie Hutch passed away in 2005, although his music lives on forever, both through his own recordings and through the many hip-hop producers who continue to mine his vast catalog.