Levi Stubbs 6/6/1936-10/17/2008
The Four Tops sold more than 50 million records in a career spanning more than fifty years.
The Four Tops were products of Detroit's North End. Levi Stubbs and Abdul "Duke" Fakir sang together in a group while attending Pershing High School. Renaldo "Obie" Benson and Lawrence Payton were boyhood friends and attended Northern High together in Detroit who. It was while singing at a friend's birthday party in 1954 they found they were good at it. They began practicing the next day and soon began calling themselves the Four Aims. They then changed their name to the Four Tops to avoid confusion with the Ames Brothers.
The Four Tops toured with the Billy Eckstine revue in the early '60s. By 1964, they had signed with old friend Berry Gordy's Motown Records. Under the wing of Motown's top production and recording team, Holland-Dozier-Holland, the Four Tops were launched with "Baby I Need Your Loving," which went to #11 in 1964. Over the next eight years The Four Tops appeared on the charts almost thirty times, and Levi Stubbs became an international star and became an influence on singers from the Sixties to the present time.