Move out of the way because Beyonce is playing no games.
- Posted on Jul 8th 2010 11:35AM by Mike Ayers
Fuqua was born in Louisville, Ky., in 1929 and was the nephew of Charlie Fuqua, vocalist for the pioneering R&B group the Ink Spots. In 1951, he got his start in the music business when he formed the Moonglows, and the group had a Top 30 hit in 1955 with 'Sincerely' after teaming up with legendary label Chess Records. Fuqua shuffled the Moonglows lineup throughout the '50s, eventually working a young Marvin Gaye into the fold. In 2000, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the '50s, he also recorded several duets with Ella Fitzgerald, including 'If I Can't Have You' and 'Spoonful.'
But Fuqua's place in history doesn't stop with just the music, as he forever altered pop music's landscape when he moved into the business side of the industry. After leaving the Moonglows, Fuqua started working with Anna Records out of Detroit, where he met Anna Gordy. He eventually introduced Marvin Gaye to Anna's brother, the legendary producer/songwriter Berry Gordy, and the fruits of that musical relationship are still marveled at today. Fuqua eventually married another Gordy sister Gwen, who passed away in 1999.
As an A&R man, Fuqua is also credited for brining Tammi Terrell to Motown, with the idea that she'd duet with Gaye. Songs such as 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' and 'Your Precious Love' are now considered classics in the American pop music canon. After leaving Motown to work at other labels, he reunited with Gaye on the singer's last album, 1982's 'Midnight Love,' which yielded his biggest hit in 'Sexual Healing.' Fuqua is credited as a background vocalist, mixer and production advisor on that release.