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Michael Masser
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    (March 24, 1941-July 9, 2015)
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    Known for his long-running collaborations with Whitney Houston and Diana Ross
    Co-wrote the songs 'The Greatest Love of All,' 'Touch Me in the Morning,' 'Didn't We Almost Have It All,' 'Saving All My Love for You,' 'Hold Me,' 'Tonight, I Celebrate My Love,' 'If You're in My Arms Again,' 'Miss You Like Crazy,' 'So Sad the Song,' 'Last Time I Saw Him,' 'It's My Turn,' 'All At Once' and 'Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)'
    Songwriting collaborators include Gerry Goffin, Carole Bayer Sager, Will Jennings, Linda Creed and Ron Miller
    He left law school to become a stockbroker and part-time entertainment agent.
    He remained dissatisfied after the switch and longed to pursue a music career, even going to a psychiatrist to work out the confusion.
    He finally opted to leave his wife and kids back in New York City to board a plane for Los Angeles and pursue a songwriting career.
    He admitted to being a perfectionist, once cajoling Whitney Houston into singing one verse at a time over and over, until it was flawless.
    Gordon Lightfoot accused him of plagiarizing 24 bars from 'If You Could Read My Mind' to write 'The Greatest Love of All' (there were plans for a lawsuit, but they were dropped after Lightfoot worried it would reflect negatively on Whitney Houston's career).
    He rarely gave interviews, although one he did grant - to David Kramer for a tabloid-style show 'PM Magazine' - went unaired because the show was cancelled before it could be properly edited/scheduled.
    He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (2007).
    He lived out of Johnny Mercer's family home when he first arrived in Los Angeles.
    He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for 'Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To),' in 1975.
    He received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song for 'So Sad the Song,' in 'Pipe Dreams' (1976).
    He won an ASCAP Film Music Award for 'The Greatest' (1977).
    He penned songs for Natalie Cole, Peabo Bryson, Teddy Pendergrass, and Roberta Flack.
    He played an instrumental role in Whitney Houston's breakout years, writing some of her earliest hits including 'Saving All My Love' and 'Didn't We Almost Have it All.'
    His time with Diana Ross also marked an artistic development in the singer's career (she wasn't known for singing ballads, for example, like 'Touch Me in the Morning').
    'The Greatest Love of All' - even before it was associated with Houston - became an unofficial anthem for self-acceptance and love (he apparently wrote it after his daughter underwent surgery for Scoliosis).
    Jeffrey Osbourne, whose hit 'In Your Eyes' Masser wrote, said: 'I think you'll find that a lot of the great singers have turned to Michael for songs and he comes up with the melodies. That's the key... the key is melodies that people will walk down the streets singing. All people. And he does it.'

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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