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Funk Brothers’ bassist Bob Babbitt dies aged 74

Studio musician played on classics by the likes of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder during his career

Bob Babbitt, bass player with Funk Brothers and legendary Motown studio musician, has died at the age of 74.

Babbitt passed away yesterday (July 16) after he lost his ongoing fight with brain cancer. He died at his home in Nashville, Tennessee, where he had lived for many years, reports the Associated Press.

The bassist played on a series of seminal tracks during his career, including the likes of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours’, Smokey Robinson’s ‘The Tears of a Clown’, Marvin Gaye’s ‘Inner City Blues’ and Edwin Starr’s ‘War.’

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He also played on recordings with the likes of Bette Midler, Jim Croce, Bonnie Raitt and Frank Sinatra, and, in all, contributed to over 200 Top 40 hit singles.

Speaking about Babbitt, former Motown engineer Ed Wolfrum said: “Bob was a teddy bear of a guy and he was an extraordinary musician — a player’s player.”

Babbitt is survived by his wife, Ann Kreinar, and their children, Carolyn, Joseph and Karen.

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