Leon Ware was a wiz with the pen. The Detroit-bred songwriter and performer was famously known for writing classics such as Michael Jackson’s “I Wanna Be Where You Are”, “Got To Have You” by The Isley Brothers, and working alongside legendary composer, Quincy Jones and vocalist Minnie Riperton.
For his work and contribution to the craft of music and songwriting, it is with deep sadness that we share the report of his passing at age 77.
Full details of Ware’s death are still in development. However, condolences from fans, artists and former collaborators spread across social media, Thursday night. A few can be read below.
WOW… This one is tearing me up! We lost one of the greatest writers of our time! I’ve studied this mans body of work inside out….From (Musical Massage- I want you-Moon ride) Rest in HEAVENLY peace Mr. Leon Ware! I’m so blessed I was able to be in your presence! Man???? #LeonWare #Genius
A post shared by Josiah Bell (@josiahbell) on
Ware began his career journey in 1967, alongside writing colleagues Ivy Hunter (“Sweet Thing” by the Temptations) and Stephen Bowden (“Ruff ‘n Ready” by Jimmy Ruffin) which catapulted into a stream of success inclusive of working with Ike and Tina Turner and even releasing albums of his own .
Later, Ware’s musical influence would become a staple and popular sample reference in hip-hop and neo-soul for artists ranging from Tupac (“How Do U Want It” –sampled Ware and Quincy Jones’ “Body Heat”) to Maxwell.
As details of his passing are still being gathered, one thing is for sure, the music and influence of Leon Ware will be “rockin’ [us] eternally.”