Singer-songwriter Syreeta Wright, ex-wife of Stevie Wonder, dies
Thursday, July 8, 2004
Motown recording artist and songwriter Syreeta Wright, who collaborated with ex-husband Stevie Wonder in writing several hits including "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and "If You Really Love Me," has died. She was 58.
Wright died Tuesday at her Los Angeles home surrounded by family after battling breast cancer, said her sister Kim Barnum.
"She was very, very loving, giving, very talented," said Barnum.
"She loved her music, and she loved all her fans." added Steve Barnum, Wright's brother-in-law.
Wright was also known for her hit duet with Billy Preston, "With You I'm Born Again," from the 1979 film "Fast Break."
She married Wonder in 1970 and the two divorced about two years later. Still, they remained friends and collaborators until her death, Kim Barnum said.
Wonder produced two of Wright's albums, including "Syreeta" and "Stevie Wonder Presents Syreeta" about their love, divorce and friendship.
Calls to Wonder's agent were not immediately returned.
Wright was born in Pittsburgh and later moved to Detroit, where she worked as a Motown secretary and later a backup singer.
Motown founder Berry Gordy signed her to the label as "Rita Wright," under which she released "I Can't Give Back the Love I Feel For You," written by Brian Holland and Ashford & Simpson.
She did her later recording as Syreeta Wright.
Wright recorded her last album in 1983, titled "The Spell."
She is survived by her four children Takiyah, Harmoni, Jamal and Hodari, and her mother, Essie Wright.