Composer Michael Masser, hit-maker for Houston, Ross, dies

AP News
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Posted: Jul 14, 2015 8:19 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Composer Michael Masser, who wrote and produced of some of Whitney Houston's biggest hits, has died. He was 74.

His business manager, Kurt Vitolo, confirmed Tuesday that Masser died last week at his home in Rancho Mirage, California, following a long illness.

Masser was working as a New York stockbroker when he decided to make good on his lifelong dream of writing music. His first hit came in 1973 with Diana Ross' "Touch Me in the Morning."

Masser earned an Oscar nomination for his next hit with Ross, "Theme from 'Mahogany' (Do You Know Where You're Going To?)."

Masser began collaborating with Houston in the early 1980s, writing and producing such hits as "The Greatest Love of All," ''Saving All My Love" and "Didn't We Almost Have It All."

His other hits included 1983's "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love," performed by Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson, and Natalie Cole's 1989 track "Miss You Like Crazy." He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007.

Born in Chicago on March 24, 1941, Masser graduated from the University of Illinois. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, a son, two grandsons and a sister.