Sylvia Moy, star Motown songwriter – obituary 

Sylvia Moy
Sylvia Moy Credit: Gilles Petard/Redferns

Sylvia Moy, who has died aged 78, was one of the select team of Motown songwriters in the label’s golden period in the 1960s and 1970s responsible for some of the most memorable and affecting songs recorded by artists such as Stevie Wonder, Martha and the Vandellas and the Isley Brothers.

Sylvia Moy’s lyrics for hits like My Cherie Amour, It Takes Two and This Old Heart of Mine were immaculate reflections on the themes of romance and heartache, and an essential ingredient in making Motown “the Sound of Young America”.

With her co-writer, the producer Hank Cosby, she was responsible for salvaging the failing career of Stevie Wonder at a time when Motown was seriously considering dropping him from the label. As a 12-year-old musical prodigy, “Little” Stevie Wonder, as he was then known, had enjoyed spectacular chart success in 1963 with the single Fingertips.

Subsequent recordings had failed...


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