(AllHipHop News) While the cause of his death is unknown, the Detroit-born writer and composer had received treatment for prostate cancer in 2009.
The news was announced via a Facebook post from British soul singer Omar Lye-Fook.
“So low right now, My Friend and Mentor Leon Ware has joined the ancestors, my deepest heartfelt condolences to Carol, Mark and the family,” he wrote. “RIP my brother from another, I was blessed to know/talk/sing and laugh with you, so many good memories that will keep me smiling for years to come.”
Ware, who started his career in 1967, is best known for producing hits for other artists including Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, and Minnie Ripperton.
He also co-produced Gaye’s classic 1976 album, I Want You, which featured songs I Want You, Come Live with Me Angel and Since I Had You.
The Motown album peaked at number one on the R&B charts and reached the top ten of the Billboard 200, selling over a million copies in the U.S.
Ware released solo albums in between writing for artists such as Teena Marie, Loose Ends, James Ingram, Bobby Womack and Lulu, producing hit song Independence for the Scottish singer.
In 1996, he co-produced singer Maxwell’s debut album, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, considered one of the landmark albums of the neo-soul genre.
His work has also gone on to become a popular source of samples in hip-hop music.