SYREETA WRIGHT "SYREETA"


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NONESYREETA

Syreeta (August 3, 1946 – July 6, 2004), who recorded professionally under the single name Syreeta, was a Grammy Award-nominated American R&Bsoul singer-songwriter.

Syreeta was born Rita Wright in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a teenager, she moved with her family to Detroit, where she first came into contact with Motown Records, working for the company initially as a secretary. After Wright caught the attention of songwriter/producer Brian Holland (of Holland-Dozier-Holland), she was signed to the label. Her first single, "I Can't Give Back the Love I Feel for You", (written by Holland along with Ashford and Simpson) was released in 1968. The song was written for Diana Ross & The Supremes, who later recorded it after the release of Syreeta's original. The single failed to chart nationally, but fared well overseas, where she would later develop a devoted following.

Wright married Stevie Wonder in 1970. Although the union was ultimately short-lived, Wonder helped Wright develop her skills as a songwriter, and their artistic collaboration continued after their divorce. Songs composed by Wonder and Wright together included Wonder's "If You Really Love Me," "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)" and The Spinners' "It's a Shame". Additionally, Syreeta's own "Spinnin' and Spinnin'" and "Your Kiss Is Sweet" were also Wonder/Wright compositions.

Syreeta's own success as a performer was limited. She released multiple albums throughout the 1970's, often working with Wonder. Unfortunately, scoring a pop hit proved elusive, although there were occasional minor R&B hits, including the Wonder-penned "Harmour Love" (#75, 1975), which also featured Wonder on background vocals. "Harmour Love" found new popularity decades later when it was featured prominently in the film Junebug.

Syreeta finally had a pop hit with 1980's "With You I'm Born Again," a duet with Billy Preston. The single reached the Pop Top 5 and became a huge AC hit. Following this, she recorded a full album with Preston and had a moderate R&B hit with "Quick Slick" (#41, 1982) while continuing to write for artists such as Patrice Rushen. In 1985, Wright recorded theme to the film The Last Dragon, "First Time on a Ferris Wheel", a duet with Smokey Robinson. By the end of the decade Syreeta had retired from full-time music work to devote more time to personal life and family, but she retained a loyal following, especiallly with the UK's Northern Soul enthusiasts.

After the marriage to Wonder, Syreeta later married drummer Curtis Robertson Jr.

 

Cat Cohen had the good fortune to have Syreeta record one of the songs he penned with Maureen Bailey, “You Set My Love In Motion” on Motown Records.

You can find out more about Syreeta at www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syreeta_Wright


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