Famed songwriter and producer Leon Ware died Thursday at the age of 77. The Detroit native was known for the Isley Brothers’ “Got to Have You Back” and Michael Jackson‘s “I Wanna Be Where You Are.” Although Ware’s cause of death was not released, in 2009 he was being treated for prostate cancer.
Ware’s contribution to the music industry spanned more than five decades, and he was considered a legend when it came to songwriting and producing. During his career, he worked with greats such as Quincy Jones, Ike Turner, Tina Turner, Teena Marie, Jeffrey Osborne, Loose Ends, James Ingram, Melissa Manchester and Maxwell.
Regarding his own solo career, Ware dropped 10 solo albums between 1972 and 2008. And when it comes to his being sampled in hip-hop music, you can hear his legacy on 2Pac’s “How Do U Want It,” Das EFX’s “They Want EFX” and De La Soul’s “Foolin’.”
And if you’re not familiar with his work, take this piece of advice: