Henry Fambrough, the last surviving original member of the iconic R&B group the Spinners, whose hits included It’s a Shame, Could It Be I’m Falling in Love and The Rubberband Man, died on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the group said. He was 85.

Fambrough died peacefully of natural causes in his northern Virginia home, the spokesperson, Tanisha Jackson, said in a statement.

The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in November. Along with Fambrough, Billy Henderson, Pervis Jackson, Bobby Smith, Philippé Wynne and John Edwards were listed as inductees.

“He got to experience those accolades,” Jackson said. “He was able to bask in the accomplishment, and that was something he was really happy about. He was glad to represent the ones who had gone before him.”

Last May, Fambrough 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”, Fambrough said at the time of the 1960s, when he first walked into the studio. “I used to dream about this place.”

He told reporters that he had to convince his wife that the studio was where he was going for 3am 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 the 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.

Fambrough is survived by his wife of 52 years, Norma, and his daughter, Heather Williams.


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