Diana Ross is among those who have paid tribute to Michael Masser, the writer of some of the best-loved ballads of the past 40 years, after his death on Thursday (July 9) at the age of 74. “So many memories,” she tweeted. “He will live on through his beautiful songs.”
The singing star then listed three Masser songs that she made famous herself, ‘Touch Me In The Morning’ (the 1973 US No. 1 that was his first notable success), ‘It’s My Turn’ and ‘Do You Know Where You’re Going To,’ the theme from the film ‘Mahogany’ which he co-wrote with Gerry Goffin. Ross also recorded Masser’s ‘Last Time I Saw Him.’
The other superstar with whom his songs were most closely associated was, of course, the late Whitney Houston, who had huge No. 1s with Masser’s ‘The Greatest Love of All’ (earlier a hit for George Benson), ‘Saving All My Love For You’ and ‘Didn’t We Almost Have It All.’
Other memorable songs in the catalogue of the Chicago-born composer included 1983’s ‘Tonight, I Celebrate My Love’ by Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson; ‘If Ever You’re In My Arms Again,’ a solo hit for Bryson in 1984; Glenn Medeiros’ UK No. 1 of 1988 ‘Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You’ and Gladys Knight and the Pips’ 1976 release ‘So Sad The Song,’ from the film ‘Pipe Dream’ in which Knight also starred.
Masser was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007. He died in Rancho Mirage, California, three years after suffering a major stroke. He is survived by his wife Ogniana, daughters Jennifer Convery and Aleksandra Rouschkolb and son Sean Masser.