Influential soul artist and songwriter Leon Ware dies aged 77

Legendary soul songwriter, artist and producer Leon Ware has died at the age of 77.

Perhaps best known for producing and co-writing Marvin Gaye’s 1976 album, I Want You, Ware began his career as a Motown songwriter. He worked with the likes of The Isley Brothers, Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones, and also made his mark on the neo-soul scene by co-writing Maxwell’s hit Sumthin’ Sumthin, taken from his 1996 debut album Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite.

Known for his smooth R&B style, Ware released a string of solo records, too, his final major label album being 2008’s Moon Ride. 

Ware had recently celebrated his 77th birthday. His death was confirmed by his manager. 

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.