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The Four Tops

1935

Abdul “Duke” Fakir of the Four Tops is born in Detroit, MI.

1936

Levi Stubbs, lead singer for the Four Tops, is born in Detroit, MI.

1937

Renaldo “Obie” Benson of the Four Tops is born in Detroit, MI.

1938

Lawrence Payton of the Four Tops is born in Detroit, MI.

1953

Levi Stubbs, Renaldo “Obie” Benson, Abdul “Duke” Fakir and Lawrence Payton form a vocal group, the Four Aims, in their hometown of Detroit. A year later they will change their name to the Four Tops.

1963

The Four Tops sign to Berry Gordy’s Motown Records.

1964

The Four Tops hit #11 with “Baby I Need Your Loving,” the first of many songs written for them by the crack Motown songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland.

1965

“I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” becomes the Four Tops’ first #1 hit.

1965

The Four Tops hit #19 with “Something About You”.

1966

The Four Tops earn their second Number One single and the biggest hit of their career with “Reach Out, I’ll Be There.”

1967

“Bernadette,” by the Four Tops, enters the Top Forty. It will rise to #4, becoming their fifth Top Ten hit in two years.

1973

“Ain’t No Woman Like the One I Got,” by the Four Tops, peaks at #4. It is their 20th Top Forty hit in ten years at Motown.

1977

Lawrence Payton of the Four Tops succumbs to liver cancer at his home in Southfield, MI.

1983

The Four Tops appear on Motown’s 25th Anniversary TV special. They also re-sign with the label, which they left in 1972.

1988

The Four Tops enter the Top Forty for the 24th and final time with “Indestructible,” which NBC-TV uses for its coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympics.

1990

The Four Tops are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the fifth annual induction dinner. Stevie Wonder is their presenter.

1997

The Four Tops receive the Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement at the eighth annual Rhythm & Blues Foundation dinner in New York.

2000

Levi Stubbs is forced to stop touring with the Four Tops after having suffered a series of strokes.

2005

Renaldo “Obie” Benson, the bass singer for the Four Tops, dies at age 69 after a brief battle with cancer.

2008

Four Tops lead singer Levi Stubbs dies at his home in Detroit at age 72.