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Vocal male soul quartet.
Formed in 1953, in Detroit as The Four Aims. Made their recording debut in 1955 backing Carolyn Hayes on her [r=14249101] single. The four founding members remained together for over four decades, until 1997 without a single change in personnel. In the 60's they were the main male vocal group for the songwriting and production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. After Holland-Dozier-Holland left Motown in 1967, the Four Tops were assigned to a number of producers, primarily Frank Wilson. When Motown left Detroit in 1972 to move to Los Angeles, California, the Tops stayed in Detroit and moved over to ABC Records, where they continued to have charting singles into the late-1970s. Since the 1980s, the Four Tops have recorded for, at various times, Motown, Casablanca Records and Arista. Inducted into Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 (Performer). Sometimes credited as "The Four Tops"
Line-Up Chronology: Lawrence Payton (1953-1997) Levi Stubbs (1953-2000) Renaldo "Obie" Benson (1953-2005) Abdul "Duke" Fakir (1953-present) Theo Peoples (1998-present) Ronnie McNeir (2000-present) Roquel Payton (2005-present)
The Four Tops are an American vocal quartet from Detroit who helped to define the city's Motown sound of the 1960s. The group's repertoire has included soul music, R&B, disco, adult contemporary, doo-wop, jazz, and show tunes. Founded as the Four Aims, lead singer Levi Stubbs, Abdul "Duke" Fakir, Renaldo "Obie" Benson and Lawrence Payton remained together for over four decades, performing from 1953 until 1997 without a change in personnel. The Four Tops were among a number of groups, including the Miracles, the Marvelettes, Martha and the Vandellas, the Temptations, and the Supremes, who established the Motown Sound heard around the world during the 1960s. They were notable for having Stubbs, a baritone, as their lead singer, whereas most other male and mixed vocal groups of the time were fronted by tenors. The group was the main male vocal group for the highly successful songwriting and production team of Holland–Dozier–Holland, who crafted a stream of hit singles for Motown. These included two Billboard Hot 100 number-one hits for the Tops: "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" in 1965 and "Reach Out I'll Be There" in 1966. The group continued to have chart singles into the 1970s, including the million-seller "Ain't No Woman" (1973). The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked them #79 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The Four Tops continue to perform with Fakir as the last surviving original member.