July 9, 2004 by

Syreeta Wright

92 comments

Categories: Musicians

swright.jpgSyreeta Wright, a Motown singer/songwriter, died on July 6 after a long battle with cancer. She was 58.

The Pittsburgh native began singing when she was only four years old. She launched her musical career as a secretary at Motown Records in the 1960s. Motown’s founder, Berry Gordy, eventually signed her to the label as Rita Wright. She released the record “I Can’t Give Back the Love I Feel for You,” then became a sought-after backup vocalist for artists such as Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder.

Wright married Wonder in 1970; they divorced two years later. Although she later wed bassist Curtis Robertson Jr., Wright and Wonder remained friends and continued collaborating together. She co-wrote several of his hits, including “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” “Superwoman” and “If You Really Love Me.” In return, Wonder produced two of Wright’s albums — her 1972 debut “Syreeta,” and her sophomore effort, “Stevie Wonder Presents Syreeta.”

The R&B vocalist also sang with Michael Bolton and Quincy Jones. Her duet with Billy Preston, “With You I’m Born Again,” reached the top 5 on the pop charts after it was featured in the 1979 film, “Fast Break.” In 1994, Wright played the role of Mary Magdalene in the national tour of “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Discography

92 Responses to Syreeta Wright

  1. Anthony Rucker

    Syreeta will be missed. Most people don’t know that Syreeta was the lyrist on the Stevie Wonder songs “Blame It On The Sun” and “Looking For Another Pure Love” from the 1972 “Talking Book” album. Those were some very special lyrics from a very talented songwriter.

  2. Selena

    I remember when Syreeta and Billy Preston did “I’m Born Again” and to this day I have never forgotten her. I often wondered what silenced that wonderful voice. She will truly be missed by all of us that love and appreciate soul in our music.

  3. Barbara Alford Jones

    Syreeta Wright was an inspiration to us all! We truly loved her body of work in song and lyrics and realize there is still probably so much more that we’ve yet to discover! Her work with Billy Preston and Stevie Wonder will live forever!

  4. DONALD WILLIAMS

    I REMEMBER WHEN SYREETA AND I SANG TOGETHER AT A
    NITE CLUB CALLED THE HIPPOPONIMUS CLUB IN PHILA.PA
    ON SAMSON STREET I WANT TO BE BY YOU’RE SIDE WAS THE SONG.SHE WAS SUCH A INSPIRATION TO ME.I’LL ALWAY’S KEEP THAT MOMENT IN MY HEART.THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER SYREETA WRIGHT.
    MY CONDOLENCES TO
    TO THE FAMILY,
    DONALD WILLIAMS
    SAXOPHONIST
    PHILADELPHIA,PA.

  5. Bhoke S. Lumumba

    Syreeta, may the Supreme Intelligence and its divine agents welcome your spirit back home. Though you have left us physically you are forever with us in minds, bodies, souls and in our hearts. Thank you very much for sharing.
    ONE LOVE

  6. Brenda Holliness

    I am a personal friend of the family of Syreeta, her sister and I are very close and her mother as well, I remember Syreeta on many occassions. My family and her family became very close and Syreeta is one of the most beautiful people I have ever known and has never changed faces as long as I have known her, she will be missed and never forgotten… we love you Syreeta.
    BGH

  7. Vicky D. Lindsey

    I met Sis. Syreeta when she brought her “Divine Hands”, a group of talented Muslim young ladies to our carnival. They were awesome! I had so much respect & love for Sis. Syreeta as she did for me. I had no idea who she was at first other than being one of the most humblest, sweetest, dedicated and talented sisters I’ve met. I attended her life celebration (funeral). It was beautiful as she was as she lay peacefully in her casket. Stevie Wonder, Berry Gordy, Patrice Rushen were among the celebrities that attended. But in spite of all of that, the most touching of all was when her daughters, “Divine Hands” performed. Amazing! And when her children spoke: Her 18 year old daughter said, “I’m only 18 years old. I don’t have my Mother”. Chills ran up and down my body. That hurt. One more memory: I remember when Sis. Syreeta came to our festival and I asked if they performed “I believe I can Fly”. She said they were practicing it but were not ready to perform it. I said “okay”. Next thing you know they performed it. Oh, my God! It brought tears to my eyes. Sis. Syreeta, you will be truly missed by us all but you will be forever Remembered!
    Peace 4 ever,
    Vicky D. Lindsey,
    Project Cry NO More, Founder

  8. Reginald Mitchell

    I am shocked, devastated and all very heartbroken of this very sudden death of my hero Sis. Syreeta aka Syreeta Wright. I never met her in person although in 1999 in Chicago I remember one of the Sisters in the Mosque telling me that I had missed Sis. Syreeta’s performance that night for the Minister. Motown Records ought to be ashamed of themselves for letting her material go to waste. Re-release them at once!!!!
    May Allah bless and carry you on Syreeta. One love to the family, Stevie Wonder and Patrice Rushen.

  9. Sara Hill

    The passing of our soulful icons is always so hard to except. I loved her writing and arrangements with Stevie Wonder. Her duet with Billy Preston, “With You I’m Born Again,” is so beautiful. My favorite project is her vocals on the 1977 Capitol Records recording of “Music Is My Sanctuary” by Saxophonist, Gary Bartz. An inspiring project that forever stays in my music collection. She has left a great legacy and an amazing body of work. She will be missed.” -SH/Sista Factory

  10. Shirley Robinson

    To my beloved “play” Mother at Boylan-Haven-Mather-Academy in Camden, SC. We won many talent shows. Syreeta was the best and her spirit was always one to encourage you to be your best. No one will be able to understand my grief. I delayed in trying to make contact thinking…one day. Rest in peace my sweet Syreeta.

  11. Michael Schuman

    One of the greatest voices to grace the planet, and certainly the sweetest soul I have had the pleasure of recording…from the duet album with Billy Preston, to her solo album The Spell, we had SO MUCH fun working together, and remained friends. Her spirit lives on……….

  12. Angela S.

    I was shocked when I heard the news that another one of “Motown” wonders has gone on the the Heavenly Hitsville in the Heavens. What a tender and sweet voice stilled. Talented songwriter and forever the true performer.
    God Bless the Family and her soul.

  13. Julius Crowder Jr.

    I am saddened by just now hearing of the news that
    a voice which brought a whole lot of joy to these
    ears has been silenced by cancer. As a former Disc
    jockey I apreciated listening to Ms. Wright-Muhammad’s vocal talent and lyrics. What a shame
    the work she did didn’t reach the same amount of
    households that less talented individuals seem to
    be getting these days. A true talent will be missed but not forgotten.

  14. Nigel Tupman

    Very sad news. ‘To Know You Is To Love You’ and ‘Cause We’ve Ended Now As Lovers’ – 2 of the best tracks ever. Still get goose-pimples everytime I play them. A wonderful voice – a wonderful lady. Sleep well………

  15. Jamal

    Greetings,
    Thank you for your interest, love and compassion for our mother. Thank you for helping to keep het legacy, music and name alive. For obituary of her funeral in PDF format, please EMail us.
    Jamal, Hodari, Takiyah and Harmoni….CHildren of Syreeta
    symu27@sbcglobal.net

  16. Vinnie Barrett

    My hearts condolences to the family of the great beautiful angel, Syreeta Wright. I followed her career since the beginning and she was an inspiration to me becoming a songwriter. My daughter, Kimberly was married with the main song being “With You, I’m Born Again” Yes, She sings in heaven, with the choir and SOLO. She was the best. God bless you all for having had her as Mom, friend and loved one. Keep her memory ALIVE!!

  17. amber lewis

    I felt very sad to hearabout the passing of Ms Wright. I remember her wedding to Stevie Wonder herroad manager John was married to my best friends sister Darlene Battle and they took us to his reception. her first album I wore the groves out of it playing it so much! Heaven has a new angel!

  18. SEBRINA WALKER

    I’ve always loved the song (If You Really Love Me),but never knew who the lady vocalist was. I’m reading through the ESSENCE magazine, and now just finding out who she was. Beautiful voice and lovely lady. May her legacy live on.
    Heart Felt Love

  19. Wanda

    My heart felt condolences to Ms Wright’s family. I know she will be greatly missed. I truly loved that song she sang with Billy Preston it is lovely. I will use it as a my song at my wedding.May God keep and bless her family.
    ONE-LOVE

  20. Rev. Mother Marina King

    I have always loved the music of Syreeta. I was watching TV-one just now and found out that she had moved up a little higher. I was deeply touched. I was at a dinner with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan who prayed for me because I too was fighting breast cancer. When I met her she was beautiful and I had no idea we had that experience in common. My prayers go out to the family.

  21. Linda Lewis

    I just got finished watching the Grammy Awards and was stunned to see Syreeta Wright’s name & face on the screen for one of those who passed on in 2004. I bought her first album in college in 1973 and always felt that she under-rated and should have been known by more because she was so talented! I, too, would like to express my sincere condolences to her family, friends and to all who were touched by such a special lady!
    She will be missed!
    Linda Lewis
    Mt. Laurel, New Jersey

  22. Elinor Jones

    I was watching the “grammy awards” when I saw Syreeta being memorialized.
    I met Syreeta in 1973 in Savannah Ga. at a park across the street from the radio station where I worked. She was pushing Stevie in the swings. They were having a ball, as I gazed out the window in amazement. Stevie was performing in Savannah that night,so they (Syretta, Stevie and Stevie’s brother/manager) came on my show a gave an interview. I wish I had a copy of that interview and a picture of Syreeta pushing Stevie Wonder in the swing. She seemed so happy.

  23. Terrince Autry

    I only found out that this incredible voice was silenced forever while watching the Grammys on 02/13/05, as they paid tribute to those musicians who’ve transcended this earthly realm.
    I’m sorry she’s gone, and have been educated as to her career. Her duet w/Billy Preston was purchased for me by my mother (RIP) after I first heard it over the radio when it was released, and remains a favorite of mine. Classic is not the word. Voices like hers are simply angelic. She is missed.

  24. Rashida

    This is a sincere tribute to Syreeta, an outstanding artist. I remember well her album, although I would have to dig back in the archives to find it. She was definitely not your average talent. I was shocked last night to learn on the Emmy Awards that Syreeta had passed. This is alarming: why do so many of our talented black artists pass on with little or no mention in the media?! This one should have received her accolades and laurels in the press.

  25. Cindy Frye & Chris Pearson

    In year 2000, my office mate Chris Pearson and myself would entertain our fellow co-workers, by singing “With You I’m Born Again”! It took awile to find the lyrics, but when Chris and I found the time, usually in the early morning working hours, before we started work, we would belt out this melodious duet. Thanks Syreeta and Billy Preston for helping me overcome the loss of my husband. As, I’m noticing the date, today will be 5 years that he passed. God bless you and let him keep you in his heart.
    Cindy Frye and Chris Pearson

  26. SEAN DALE

    A Truly Amazing singer – I last saw Syreeta in the 80’s when she was Touring the UK on the Motorcity Tour. She was a truly gifted artist and will always be remembered.

  27. Sister Wade

    To: Jamal, Hodari, Takiya, & Harmoni (The Children of Syreeta Wright-Muhammad):
    From “I’m Going Left, Spinning Around, Your Kiss Is Sweet, Come & Get This Stuff, Lookin For a Heavy Day, We’ve Ended Now As Lovers, Just A Little Piece Of You, Waiting For The Mailman, When Your Daddy’s Not Around, I Wanna Be By Your Side, Universal Sounds” – (Wonder Love) Syreeta Wright-Muhammad will be truly missed. I’m sorry your mother did not receive her props from Motown.
    She was truly talented and I know, this angelic songbird will be missed!
    Respectfully,
    Sister Wade
    Sharon Hill, PA

  28. Don Sniffen

    Syretta was one of my all time favorite female singers. Her voice was so beautiful, I can just imagine her, Minnie Riperton and Denise Williams singing together for Stevie Wonder as his back up girls Wonderlove. “Stevie Wonder Presents…Syretta” is a albun and CD I’ve worn out several times. I’m still fighting back the tears and can’t believe she’s actually gone. I just found out during the recent Grammy Awards. She will be greatly missed.

  29. Marcio Prezotto

    Syreeta recorded a song called “Let Me Be The One” in 1980 and this song is the music of my life. I feel sad for the way she died, feeling pain. She is a nightngale and I listen to her musics all the time.
    God must have placed her in a special chair for rest in piece as she deserve. She have one of the sweetest voices I ever heard…
    My love forever.

  30. clem d grandy

    having the pleasure of meeting syreeta in 1963 while attend mather academy in camden sc god had put a angle in our mist her VOICE. was powerfull. BUT HER SPRIT SHALL BE EVER LASTING .SLEEP WELL THIS HEAVENLY CHILD OF GOD MY SISTER CD GRANDY

  31. Jan

    A beautiful voice – a beautiful sister – a beautiful soul to ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED……thanks for sharing your gift with us…

  32. Al-Farid

    …i’ve always felt as though there was a special connection between myself and stevie wonder. albeit in my mind. so, naturally i’ve loved syreeta from the first time i heard and saw her. my heart is missing her. i’ve never met her, but i feel i’ve known her for years. i’m sadden that she’s acutally gone. i’ll see her again in the paradise. we all will…..

  33. Sonia

    Syreeta was unique…I have yet to hear another ballad “With You I’m Born Again” sung as sweet, pure and simple like she did for a definitely long time. She was and still is beautiful in my memory, with a voice like an angel….Her gift to the world was her beautiful voice and her compositions. She was one-of-a-kind, and her contributions to the music world is a testament to the talent she possesed.

  34. roy mcclain

    its been almost a year since her passing and i miss you just as much now as i did that day i heard the fateful news of your passing,rip ms syreeta,your kiss is still so sweet

  35. valerie

    My sorrow is only lifted by the joy of her albums and the sweet memories of the ’70s. You won’t be forgotten. Thank you God for sending her to us.

  36. DOESNT MATTER MY NAME

    I HAVNT SAID THIS TO HARDLY ANYONE, BUT I WANT TO THANK ALLAH FOR PUTTING SYREETA IN MY LIFE, SHE BECAME MY MOTHER, TOUGHT ME THINGS WHEN MY MOTHER WAS NOT AROUND, EVEN THOUGH WE WENT THROUGH MANY THINGS I WILL NEVER FORGET HER, NOR THE FAMILY THAT WAS MADE MINE, EVEN IF YOU NEVER KNOW IT, I LOVE YOU ALL, JAMAL THANKS FOR ALL THAT YOU SHOWED ME, THANKS SHARING YOUR MOM, IT MADE ME A BETTER WOMAN….PEACE

  37. Carolyn

    The day the music died. I am glad to be in a generation when talent and musicianship were at its peak. So much so that even bright lights like Syreeta Wright were part of a larger galaxy of stars…We had music back then that is still inspiring and fun to listen to dance to sing to. Artists like Syreeta, Stevie, Smokey, Brenda, Ashford and Simpson, Gamble and Huff knew how to craft a song that conjureded up enduring images that are still valid today. I challenge the Hip Hop generation to see if the flacid garbage they call music will be so universally remembered and loved when they reach middle age (Oh yeah, I forgot very few of them will make it that far). Syreeta lives on through her music. We are grateful for your presence abeit too brief.

  38. Matthew Coles

    God I am so very sorry I loved her music so mch and have been trying to find her cds anywhere with now luck.to her family my depest heart felt sympathy.
    Matthew Coles
    Rochester, N.Y. 14608

  39. Nicholas Maravell

    I was searching for information on Syreeta Wright – in the mid 70’s I bought the album Stevie Wonder Presents Syreeta Wright – such a wonderful work of art that I continue to play from time to time for all of these years – I am stunned to find out what I just did discover – my best to Ms. Wright’s family and friends – peace.

  40. Angela N. Mata

    As salamu ‘alaikum wa ramatu allah!
    To Jamal, Hodari, Takiyah, and Harmoni:
    I have been a Stevie Wonder fan for all of my life, so that is how I know about your mother. I have been watching Stevie and his daughter, Aisha,perform on television shows for the past few weeks. Stevie mentioned how upset he has been over the death of his first wife and his brother. My family and I began to wonder if Aisha was Rita’s daughter. I have been searching for information about Sister Rita all day and was SHOCKED BEYOND WORDS to discover that she is MUSLIM! Al-Hamdiallah! May Allah (saw) forgive her sins and grant her Paradise!
    Allah (saw) says whoever says that His believers are dead is not a believer. Your mother is alive in spirit. And I pray that she is resting peacefully in barzak. You STILL have a mother! She is no longer able to be with you physically, but the soul lives on. There is a saying in Islam that “this world is a believer’s prision and a disbeliever’s paradise.” We as Muslims want what Allah (swa) has promised his believers. The Qur’an says “Rest and satisfaction is what we find in the life to come, And those who believe will join their families in a world whose likeness you have seen before!” Know that it is also a part of our deen to have faith in the UNSEEN. I recently lost both of my grandparents within twelve days of each other. They were like my parents. It is hard to have faith when someone that close to you passes on, but Allah (saw) says “I have made you for no other reason but to serve Me!” I pray that Allah will all grant us all peace of mind and ease our pain. Life is a constant struggle. It is all a test! Sister Rita was an extraordinary singer and composer. I have been listening to her music all morning. But I am even more of a fan now that I know that she passed on a Muslim! Apparently you are all members of the Nation. Well, I follow under the leadership of Imam Wallace (Warith) Deen Muhammad, the son of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. So I am Sunni or Orthodox, though we usually don’t like to label ourselves this way. If you believe in the oneness of Allah then He says that that is enough, so I am your sister in faith as well. Our mothers are the same age, but I believe that I am quite a few years older than all of you. Anyway, WE MUST STAY STRONG!!!! Remember that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) grew up without a mother or a father. He was raised by his uncle. We as Muslims are expected to follow his lead.
    Peace and Blessings
    Sister Angela

  41. Willette Stocker

    Dear Children of Syreeta:
    Your mom will never be forgotten. You are not alone. Although it has been more than a year since her passing, her contributions to music and mankind still remain. You are not alone.
    Peace be with you,
    W. Stocker, WQMC/Sumter, S.C.

  42. Ronn Q

    Yes like many of you I loved her and her music. Heard her first time when I was 13 (Stevie Wonder Presents….) and instantly fell for her. I cried when I heard the news of her passing on the radio, she will truly be missed. God has an angle in her. Peace my sister.
    RQ/West Philly

  43. Quincy Blue

    I will always remember her with the duet with Billy Preston. I was a beautiful song with great meaning & her voice just brought it to life. She will be greatly missed/love by many. FLY ON ANGEL!

  44. Deanna McRae King

    I can remember listening to Syreeta over and over again when I was growing up in West Philly. Her words, “I’m going left ’till you lead me to the right” have so often resounded within me, when I’ve needed to hear them most. Thank you Syreeta for your beautiful music and poetry. You will always have a special place in my heart.

  45. takiyah muhammad

    syreeta wight muhammad, was my mother. i am ger third child Takiyah. she was not only my mother but she was my best friend. i just wanted to say thank you all her fans, friends, and family for all the love and support for this past two year experience since her death.

  46. ANDRE' BORGES

    I really hope simply that more people could still
    hear her music even she’s not with us physically.
    But her songs live on forever.
    Andre’Borges, Trenton, New Jersey

  47. Billy Preston died today

    US blues and rock giant Billy Preston, dubbed the “Fifth Beatle” following his collaboration with the Fab Four, has died at the age of 59, a US television network reported.
    Rest in Peace Billy – you were great on the keyboards. Love the Fro Brother!

  48. Malie, as you used to call me

    Lyda, I know you wrote that tribute, and I thank you. She was your mom as much as she is ours. She loved you as if you were her own. Love you always, wish things worked out us, you can always still call me.

  49. THE HOMETEAM

    I THINK EVERYONE SAID IT ALL, BUT SYREETA TRULY LIVES ON. DIVINE HANDS A GROUP STARTED BY HER CARRYS HER ON. HER DAUGHTERS ARE IN THIS GROUP AND THROUGH DANCE YOU EXPERIENCE THEIR MOTHER AT HER BEST.SYREETA LIVES ON…….

  50. Darryl Andrews

    It’s a sad day…I was going through my cd’s and decided to listen to Syreeta..then as I was listening I wondered what happened to Syreeta? I put her name in on the internet and was saddened by the news she died 3 years ago. I went through her pictures and said a prayer for her and thanked her for all she did in life. She impacted me through her music. She wrote songs I did not know she wrote that has had major influences on my life. I love you Syreeta and I will miss you much. God bless you
    @@@@@@@@@@@@>>>>—————
    Darryl Andrews
    Columbia, SC

  51. adrienne watkins

    i rember a song that syreeta sang with stevie wonder back in the 70’s i was 16 years old but i heard this song when at that time my boyfriend sister played it and i fell in love with this song “when your daddy’s not around ,i’m not sure if that was the name of the song or not but i have been serching for that album, syreeta will be sadly missed and will never be forgotten because she went home to the lord on my birthday and another great singer birthady phyllis hyman.

  52. Jackflash98

    Syreeta’s songs, voice along with her personified character to this day moves me.
    The spirit of her that lies within her songs when they are listened to causes something within you to well up with love, hope, and compassion. What she has imparted through her music can never be duplicated, what she personified through her compassion can never be reproduced, what she has pour out from her heart is perpetual. Love u, Miss, you , and thank you
    Syreeta you will never be forgotten by me.
    Jackflash
    Dallas, TX

  53. james Austus

    Blame it on the sun remains one of my all time favourite tracks. As a teanager going through the normal teanaged angst at the time of first hearing the track the song wonderfully articulated all that I was going through at the time. Syreeta’s vocals were truly beautiful bringing to life some beautiful lyrics. For years I had the 12 inch LP version which unfortunately got damaged and it was whilst trying get a CD version of her 1980 ‘Syreeta’ alum on the internet I discovered much to my shock that she had passed away. Syreeta never got the true acolades she desvered but for true lovers of GOOD R&B music we know real talent when we hear it. You were a fantastic singer, who will be missed and you will live on in our hearts forever. God rest and keep you safe.

  54. kevin bland

    To hear a song sung properly by the one God placed the song in, is a treat that lives on beyond our fleshly body. Wheter Christian, Muslim or Hebrew, we need songs which celebrate the aspects of our lives. Sister Syreeta accomplished this by allowing us to listen to her heart songs. Stevie knew what he had and he allowed her to bring him to another place of “Pure Love”. My favorite songs by her is “Baby Don’t Let Me loose This Thing” and “Just A Little Piece”. Her voice seemed to reach inside of me and remind me that I matter to God. She inspired one of the greatest singers of the century by showing him how to write a clever sweet tune. Don’t blame it on the sun, Thank the Father for her and the love she left. The Harmour love left on vinyl. We will see her again. It is a shame that Motown never really gave her her due but we can still keep her alive with honor and love in our hearts.

  55. mike amato

    I sincerely hope that this web site and syreeta’s memory are intact. It is odd how I realized how an intense intrumental, play by jeff beck and more, was also sung so sweetly by the women that was once married and colaborated with the great STEVIE.
    If you are looking down Syreeta, please say hi to Anthony, my beautiful son. He was a beginner musician, but quite prolific in thought, creation, and love for music and more. God bless, MIKE AMATO

  56. Jérôme Freymond

    My deeptest
    I just knew Syreeta as Stevie’s lyricist for many beautiful songs. As I first heard her beautiful voice and saw her face I felt how sweet her kisses must have been. Today, I own the Essential Collection of her solo recordings and whenever I listen to it^, she’s near me.
    Love Jérôme

  57. Kathy Harper

    I stumbled upon this site looking for the lyrics to a song Syreeta recorded with The late Billy Preston, in 1981. It is on the flip side of the 45 single “With you I’m born again”. It’s entitled “Please Stay”. The plaintive beauty of her voice saying “I’m afraid, but I want to stay” still haunts my memory. I have not heard it in years, but I want to sing it, hoping I can do a fraction of the job she did singing it. My Brother and I sang “With you I’m born again” for our younger Brother’s wedding every one loved the song! It was a younger group, and we introduced it to them. Sis. Syreeta sings on, yall! I love, love, love her music, her voice and the sweet spirit she projected. To her children, you were a source of pride to your mother in her life, and now in her passing she still watches over you with love and pride. Be Strong. Knowing the outpouring of love for your mother is extended to you all as well.
    Peace and Blessings.

  58. Gwendolyn Stuart-Singleton

    Jamal,Hodari,Takiyah,and Harmoni:
    My heart is with your hearts. You know how special your Mom Syretta is, that goes without saying. When I received a call that said “Syretta” had made her transition, I was numb and my tears freely flowed again for another one of my Sister’s ascended to Heaven. First, Minnie and now Syretta which came on the heels of my only son, Stevland “Stevie” Singleton, just 4 months earlier. Your Mom had one of the warmest spirits I’ve ever known. I remember one night in particular in the early 70’s a group of us, your Mom, Minnie,Darlene, Shirley, and myself were watching that horrible Linda Blair movie and we were scared stiff, had all the lights on, to scared to sleep and jumping at every sound. Out of the blue, Your Mom said, “We need to Pray”..she was grounded in faith even then! Syretta had a marvelous voice and her talents just beamed from every pore. Each time I was in the studio listening to her sing her heart out; I would be more amazed than the time before. The 5 part harmonies she contributed to on “Take A Little Trip” & “Edge Of A Dream” on Minnie’s Debut LP, Perfect Angel and her stellar vocals on “Secret Life of Plants” with Steve, especially “I Wish I Was A Flower” will never be duplicated. Your Mom knew out of all of her works, my favorite was her duet with GC Cameron, “I Want To Be By Your Side” and “Spinning and Spinning”.
    Know this, your Mom Syretta has always had a natural instinct in relating to children, way before God blessed her with her own very precious little ones. She was one of 3 people I completely trusted with my girls TaiLan and
    MaiEaiisha and trust me they truly loved her.
    Syretta was a good person and an exceptional friend. She could truly see into my heart and knew what was within my soul.
    She has gone on before us to embrace old friends’ and family and look after my boy “Stevie”, until we are reunited. Heaven has another royal gifted song bird and song writer.
    Do this for me: Put Your Hand Over Your Heart, when you feel the Beat, that’s your MOM’s LOVE For You.
    I miss her as I do my Son, my Mother, my Father, but our Family Chains will link again.
    I Am Because, We Are In Spirit.
    Gwen
    oneunikadvocate2@aol.com

  59. Ed Winslett

    I was just surfing the internet trying to recall this song from years and years ago that kept going through my head. I hardly remembered the lyrics buy the name came to me after a while and when I finally found it, it brough back so many memories….Syreeta from Oklahoma city, Oklahoma, you have touched me from years ago

  60. Toinette

    Listening to Syreeta Wright (Muhammad) on YouTube – I do a search and discovered that she died some years ago. So sad, I do hope her loved ones are consoled somewhat by the beautiful songs and lyrics that she created. Thank you, Syreeta.

  61. Mark Steele

    Because I’ve always loved Stevie I could only feel the same way about Syreeta. I knew she had to be a wonderful person for Stevie to love her. I’ve only just learnt of her death… I’m so sorry.

  62. Artied B

    What a remarkable woman with a wonderful voice. While living in California with my paramour, we made a bet that I could not find the “Stevie Wonder presents Syreeta” album and I did ! I presented it to him as a Christmas present for his vast music collection. We reflected on how the DJ would play the whole album one side at a time. No interruptions. Surprisingly, we named our precious baby girl “Syreeta.” We always tell her that when she meets another Syreeta if they are genuine… they will also know the real history behind the name and the connection to Stevie Wonder. The musical world was truly blessed with her voice and talent. Yet, her name and legacy will live on through all the Syreeta’s who are named after her.

  63. Bob Hargreaves

    I was very sad to hear of Syreeta’s passing four years ago. I attended Ferris State College with Syreeta and she was a “Big Star” there before she ever even worked at Motown Records. She was a wonderful and talented person. I was as proud of her as can be when “With You I’m Born Again” became a huge hit.
    Bob Hargreaves
    Columbia, SC

  64. Earl Wilson

    Someone noted above that the angels will welcome her beautiful voice into their choir for God, I second that emotion! Though for most people her body of work went un-noticed, she touched me with many songs. In fact, just recently I found “Let Me Be The One” from one of her older albums and I have fallen in love with it. Peace and blessing to her family and close friends, I can only imagine what a loss her passing was to you because you not only knew her voice you knew her heart. Thank you Syreeta!

  65. Kathie

    I was looking at some old pics I have and came across wedding
    photos I took at Stevie Wonder’s wedding. I happen to be able
    to go to the wedding with a friend whose mother worked with
    Syreeta’s mother. I was only 17 at the time and in ah at all the great Motown stars there. I have a pic of Stevie & Syreeta with their cake, a pic of Gladys Knight and pics of the great Motown band playing at the reception. I had no idea that Syreeta had passed away and am very sad about it. I often wondered what became of her since I didn’t know much about her. I now plan to check out her music and listen to it, especially after reading all the great things people have written about her & her music.

    • Soveigner [''Chello']

      Sincerest greetings. I am in the very beginning stages of doing a long overdue tribute in honor of Syreeta and would very interested to know if you still had the photo you mentioned, as well as if you’d be willing to share it for presentation in Documentary of this Beautiful woman. Also, to contribute your thoughts [in a montage of other people]on her life and/or passing.This is a serious and sincere outreach to you.If you decline, still, many blessings to you for loving or admiring Syreeta.

  66. Alfred and Carrie

    Syreeta and Billy Preston’s beautiful record (With You I’m Born Again) was the highlight of my Wedding on May 3, 1980 and I never knew that her beauty matched her talent, and not to take anything away from Billy Preston, who will always be in my heart with her. Funny thing, the DJ played another record that my bride wanted, at the wedding, but I balked and had that record of Syreeta and Billy be played instead. To this day, I get chills in me from that fond memory of May 3, 1980 in the South Bronx, NY.

  67. Cynthia L. Jeffries

    God Bless the Family of Syreeta. I grew up with her sister Kim when they still lived in Michigan. I’m deeply saddened even more because I just recently found out Syreeta has passed. What a beautiful and super talented woman who I know is dearly missed.

  68. Tom Peasley

    I had the privilidge to play bass with her for a short time in the late 60s. A wonderful person and a gifted musician who will be missed by all whose life she touched.

  69. kathie

    I was lucky enough to attend the wedding of Stevie Wonder and Syreeta in 1970. I was only 17 at the time, but a big fan of Stevie Wonder. I was not too
    familiar with the music of Syreeta then, but was lucky enough to here it later on. My date for the wedding got the invitation from his mother who worked with Sreeta’s mother. I have pictures I took at the wedding reception in Detroit and often look at them and have since researched about Syreeta on the internet. It was then that I read that she had died and I was sorry to hear it. I have since had the pictures reprinted in better quality and will always treasure them. I’m sorry I never realized how great an artist she was.

  70. Shantell

    As a young child I watched the movie body and soul and after hearing the song Born again it made me cry, because no song had never touch me like that song. Everytime I heard it till this day I cry. I am 37 years old and listen to it on a reagular. So I thank Syreeta and Billy for helping bring peace of mind when they sing that song. The world has really lost a great women. God Bless her family!

  71. Nothrice aka "Note"

    I came across this blog just by chance. I just purchased the new Vanessa Williams CD,”The Real Thing”, and the title cut, written by Stevie Wonder, sounded familiar, and thought Syreeta sang this song, so I began to research it,and landed here. Although I am many years late in expressing my thoughts of Syreeta, it took a recent TV show to allow me to finally deal with the loss. I never knew Ms Wright, ONLY through music, so as a fan, you conjure up a perception from their music. From the moment I heard her voice, and remember that white album cover (I was about 5 or 6)”Stevie Wonder Presents Syreeta”- I fell in love with that angelic and peaceful voice, and beautiful and inviting face of a soul many of you write about , having the opportunity to have shared personal time with the woman herself. TV One started their second season of the show called “Unsung” with Minnie Riperton- who, along with Syreeta, can NEVER be duplicated or compared to to anyone on this earth!!!From the moment they began to advertise this show, I have just been crying my eyes out, as I can remember the day, July 12, 1979 where I was when I heard that my favorate singer died. Anyway,30 years later, I realized that I never really dealt with the loss-and the special made me think of Syreeta’s passing as well and that I really hadn’t dealt with it. Some people might think this is strange, considering I never PERSONALLY knew them, but they gave us apart of themselves – otherwise, many like myself would not feel the way that we do- we connected with their passion for what they did. I say ALL of that to say that I miss Syreeta- . I felt like as my love for music grew, so did my interest in her grew as well. From “Blame it on the Sun”to “Music is my Santuary”,those were the days when there WAS real music. My fondest memory was that as a young girl, buying “The Spell”(up until this point my older brother Terry had all her music and I felt ‘grown up’to have my own Syreeta LP). It came out the summer DeBArge’s “All this Love” came out. I remember screaming seeing this album as I went to the store to purchase DeBarge. As I put her album up to the counter, the salesperson asked me if I heard anything off the LP,and I said,”It doesn’t matter…it’s Syreeta Wright”. That remark promted him to put the LP on and hear it for himself.I enjoyed that LP ( I personally think that was Jermaine Jackson’s best project as a producer), and ended up playing it more than DeBarge! Her contribution to music and legacy left is one of excellence and TRUE LOVE of this thing we call music.It was enough shown that I, too, wanted to sing like Syreeta and Minnie. I think the last thing I heard her on was doing background vocals on a song Kirk Whalum did on his CD, “The Promise” called “Recieve your Love”, and was hoping to hear more from her. Nevertheless, to her family, my prayers and thoughts go to you, as I know the depth of missing her is nothing compared to mine, and to her fans, lets keep her music alive-share it with your kids… and grandkids who only think Mariah Carey or Chante Moore are the only ones with a high octive voice-they learned from the pros-Syreeta and Minnie! And lets hope TV One will do a “Unsung” special on her as well-it is way overdue!!! Thanks to Stevie Wonder who knew how to pick classic singers, and expose us to such a great person. And lastly, to all the people who actually knew her and shared your loving thoughts on this blog thanks for giving her fans a peek into Syreeta , the person.

  72. Laylah

    Out of nowhere, I just started hearing Syreeta singing the song “Spinning and Spinning” … I knew she had passed, but went searching YouTube to hear her sing it again. I always thought she was the most beautiful lady, with a voice of silver and gold. She is very missed. I am blessed to have heard her beautiful voice singing in my head. Thank you Syreeta. May you rest in peace and love. ~Laylah~

  73. Oliver White

    Syreeta and I grew up together in Inkster, Michigan. I had the joy and pleasure of being her musician when she sung in a Baptist Church choir. I haven’t seen or talked to her since the early 70s, however, I never stopped thinking of her, because we were good friends. Sadly, I didn’t know she God had called her home. However, I know she is adding her unparalleled gift to the celestial choir. I knew there was reason why the stars are shining so brightly. May God bless you my friend. Someday, we will work together again.
    Oliver

  74. Donna from Sharon Hill, Pa

    I remember that beautiful album cover of Syreeta’s baby. It was one of the most beautiful babies that I had ever seen. The song “My Little Girl” was one of my favorites from that album. Syreeta will surely be missed.

  75. kim walker

    Syreeta Wright is still one of”GODs”greatest gifts to this world. her beautiful voice still uplifts and encourages all who are blessed to hear her songs. the beauty of Syreeta Wright continues to live on . may “GOD” heal and comfort the family and love ones of Syreeta Wright. children of Syreeta keep the memory of your mother’s music alive!

  76. Frank

    I remember the first time i heard Blame it on the sun i was 17 in the ARMY 1980…Her soft voice, her girl next door look, her music just grapped me. my hat off to an icon… its a shame shes gone. but GOD got her.. To her children, those of us who know of her we still spreading her love around and its world wide, nation to nation. her voice will never die… RESPECT,LOVE and PEACE be STILL

  77. Robbie

    I’m a huge fan of Stevie Wonder and have only discovered Syreeta in the past year or so. I discovered this site tonight upon researching her and am subsequently saddened by the news of her passing.

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