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Levi Stubbs (June 6, 1936 – October 17, 2008) was an American baritone singer, best known as the lead vocalist of the R&B group the Four Tops, a band known for a variety of Motown hit records and other songs created in the 1960s and 1970s. The power of Stubbs' emotional, often dramatic vocals have received praise from many critics over the years; for example, Allmusic's Ed Hogan has remarked that Stubbs' had a "pleading urgency in his voice that perfectly captured the longing anxiousness of the songs written by the producing trio of Holland-Dozier-Holland". As well, War band member Lonnie Jordan told Billboard.com he felt "blessed" to meet Stubbs and thought that the Four Tops singer's "voice was so good he was just, like, from another planet."
He was also a voice artist in film and animated television series, most famously having provided the voice of the alien plant in the 1986 comedic horror film Little Shop of Horrors (an adaption of the stage musical of the same name) as well as Mother Brain in the 1989 TV series Captain N: The Game Master. Stubbs was admired by his peers for his impressive vocal range, having influenced many later pop and soul artists such as Daryl Hall of Hall and Oates.
Stubbs had five children. Living in Detroit, Michigan for much of his life, including his last days, he was married to Clineice Stubbs for over forty years until his death. His last performance was at the Four Tops' "50th Anniversary Concert" on July 28, 2004 at the Detroit Opera House.
Levi Stubbs and his wife Clineice were married from 1960 until his death. The couple had five children.
Stubbs features in Billy Bragg's 1986 song, "Levi Stubbs' Tears," about a woman whose Four Tops album brings her comfort through difficult times. The chorus goes:
"When the world falls apart, some things stay in place
Levi Stubbs' tears run down his face."
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