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    Deke Richards, 68, leader of Motown team of writers

    BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Motown songwriter and producer Deke Richards, who was involved in writing and producing many Jackson 5 hits, died Sunday at age 68.

    Mr. Richards, whose real name was Dennis Lussier, died at the Whatcom Hospice House, Amy Cloud, spokeswoman for Peace Health St. Joseph Medical Center, confirmed Monday.

    Mr. Richards had been battling esophageal cancer, according to a statement from Universal Music.


    As leader of the Motown songwriting, arranging, and producing team known as The Corporation, Mr. Richards had a hand in many Jackson 5 hits, a Universal Music release said. Those songs included the Jackson 5’s first three number one hits: ‘‘I Want You Back,’’ “ABC,’’ and ‘‘The Love You Save.’’

    He also co-wrote ‘‘Love Child’’ for Diana Ross & The Supremes, as well Ross’s solo ‘‘I’m Still Waiting.’’