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Originally published Monday, March 25, 2013 at 9:26 PM

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Songwriter Deke Richard dies in Bellingham

Motown’s Deke Richard, a songwriter and producer, died in Bellingham on Sunday.

The Associated Press

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BELLINGHAM — Motown songwriter-producer Deke Richards has died at 68.

Richards, whose real name was Dennis Lussier, died Sunday at the Whatcom Hospice House, Peace Health St. Joseph Medical Center spokeswoman Amy Cloud said. He’d been battling esophageal cancer.

As leader of the Motown songwriting, arranging and producing team The Corporation, Richards was involved in writing and producing many Jackson 5 hits, said a release from Universal Music. They included the Jackson 5’s first three No. 1 hits — “I Want You Back,” “ABC” and “The Love You Save.” He also co-wrote “Love Child” for Diana Ross & The Supremes, and Ross’ solo “I’m Still Waiting.”

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