Popular Songwriter of the ’70s and ’80s, Michael Masser Dies at 74

Composer Michael Masser with Whitney Houston. Together they made hits. Photo credit: nytimes.com.

Michael Masser, a songwriting legend in the 1970s and ’80s, died in Rancho Mirage, California, on Thursday at age 74.

Masser, who was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007, created hit songs for Diana Ross in the ’70s and Whitney Houston in the ’80s, according to The Desert Sun. He wrote two of Ross’ biggest hits as a solo artist: “Touch Me in the Morning” and “Do You Know Where You’re Going To?” which was the Academy Award-nominated theme from the movie, “Mahogany.” The song hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, as well.

Masser wrote three No. 1 songs on Houston’s first two albums: “The Greatest Love of All,” “Saving All My Love,” and “Didn’t We Almost Have it All.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Masser also wrote “Tonight I Celebrate My Love for You,” the hit song sung by Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson. He also produced Teddy Pendergrass’ “Love Language” album in 1984.

“He was an extraordinary person,” Peggy Cravens, a pop singer and friend, told The Desert Sun, “He just had this passion that was milling around in his head and decided to give it all up for music.”

Celebrities and fans alike wrote their condolences on Twitter, as well.