Duke Fakir of the Four Tops Reflects on Motown

Stephen Talks with Founding “Four Tops” Member Duke Fakir


Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson talks with Duke Fakir, the sole remaining member of seminal Motown band the Four Tops. Fakir talks about working with Motown creator Berry Gordy, artist development, Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriters, and other Motown acts. Fakir also discusses growing up in Detroit and finding success before Motown.


  • Origins: The Four Tops originally started when Duke Fakir and Levi Stubbs went to a “bourgeois” club to try to impress women with singing. He invited two other people to come with him, found out they were all excellent singers, and The Four Tops were born.
  • Jazz: Four Tops was originally to be a jazz group. “When we first got to Motown, Berry Gordy asked us to do an album of [Jazz],” Fakir says. Fakir says they abandoned jazz when they began working with Holland-Dozier-Holland hit songwriters.
  • Success: Fakir says part of why The Four Tops were so successful was their mutual respect and love for one another. “Levi Stubbs had a voice that to me was incredible,” Fakir says.


To hear more of Stephen’s wonderful conversation with Duke Fakir, click the link above.