Edwin Starr

Living in Cleveland, Ohio, Edwin Starr began his career at the age of 15, forming a doo-wop group The Future Tones with his cousins Roger and Willie Hatcher. When Starr later moved to Detroit, he released his first single Agent Double O Soul in 1965, going on to have a succession of soul hits as his label Ric-Tic was absorbed by Motown. The record for which he will forever be remembered, however, is War, a Norman Whitfield/Barrett Strong song originally intended for the Temptations, which Starr ferociously performed as an angry diatribe against the Vietnam War. A major hit in 1970, it was a controversial record which Motown was initially reluctant to release because of the political connotations. But it became the defining song of his career and an anthem of anti-war campaigners. Starr moved to England in 1973, but continued to tour and record, enjoying disco hits with (Eye To Eye) Contact and H.A.P.P.Y Radio. He was still making club records and performing live through the 1990s but died of a heart attack in 2003 at the age of 61.

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