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Henry Fambrough, the last surviving member of The Spinners, dies ‘peacefully’ aged 85 as tributes pour in for Motown legend

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Henry Fambrough, the last surviving original member of the iconic R&B group The Spinners, has died. 

The Motown legend passed away on Wednesday of natural causes in his northern Virginia home, his spokesperson Tanisha Jackson said in a statement.

The group, whose hits included Its a Shame, Could It Be I’m Falling in Love and The Rubberband Man, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in November. 

Along with Henry, Billy Henderson, Pervis Jackson, Bobby Smith, Philippé Wynne and John Edwards were listed as inductees.

Tributes poured in from fans on X, formerly Twitter, as they remembered Henry by listening to the band’s music. 

Henry Fambrough, the last surviving original member of the iconic R&B group The Spinners, has died

Henry Fambrough, the last surviving original member of the iconic R&B group The Spinners, has died

Originally called The Domingoes, the group was formed in 1954 just north of Detroit  (Bobby Smith, George Dixon, Billy Henderson, Henry Fambrough and Pervis Jackson)

Originally called The Domingoes, the group was formed in 1954 just north of Detroit  (Bobby Smith, George Dixon, Billy Henderson, Henry Fambrough and Pervis Jackson)

They wrote: ‘I grew up listening to #TheSpinners I’m so glad he was able to partake in this induction ceremony. Rest in power to the last original member of #TheSpinners Henry Fambrough. Time to break out the #RubberbandMan.’

‘This man had a voice as smooth as butter when he sang with #TheSpinners. R.I.P. #HenryFambrough one of the last original members of the group’.

Last May, Henry took a tour of Motown’s Studio A in Detroit as part of a ceremony that included the donation to the Motown Museum of 375 outfits worn by the group during performances.

‘It was a long time ago,’ Henry said at the time of the 1960s, when he first walked into the studio. ‘I used to dream about this place.’

He told reporters he had to convince his wife that the studio was where he was going for 3 a.m. rehearsals and recording sessions with other members of the group. 

Their first big hit for Motown was It´s A Shame, which peaked at No. 14 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in 1970.

The Spinners would later sign with Atlantic Records and turn out a string of hits that included ‘Then Came You,’ which featured singer Dionne Warwick and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974.

Their songs received six Grammy Award nominations and earned 18 platinum and gold albums.

Originally called The Domingoes, the group was formed in 1954 just north of Detroit in Ferndale. The Spinners joined Motown Records 10 years later.

Henry leaves behind his wife of 52 years, Norma, and daughter Heather Williams.

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