Deke Richards, who as part of the songwriting and production team known as the Corporation was responsible for many of Motown Records ‘ signature songs, died Sunday at a hospice in Bellingham, Wash., of esophageal cancer , according to a statement from his record label. He was 68.
Born Dennis Lussier in Los Angeles, Richards helped launch the Jackson 5 to stardom by co-creating — alongside Alphonzo Mizell, Freddie Perren and Motown founder Berry Gordy — the family band’s first three No. 1 hits: “I Want You Back,” “ABC” and “The Love You Save.”
“I was basically in charge of the Jackson 5 — all their creative, when it came down to the studio and all their creative endeavors,” Richards once told Rolling Stone .