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Famous Like Me > Singer > T > Tammi Terrell

Profile of Tammi Terrell on Famous Like Me

Name: Tammi Terrell  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 16th March 1945
Place of Birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Tammi Terrell

Tammi Terrell (born Thomasina Montgomery) (April 29, 1945 - March 16, 1970) was an African American Motown singer in the 1960s, best known for her duets with Marvin Gaye.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she entered the music business at the age of 13, regularly performing live. In 1961 she was signed to the fledgling Scepter Records (later Wand Records), recording under the name "Tammy Montgomery". After coming to the attention of James Brown she recorded one single apiece for Brown's own Try Me record label and, in 1964, Checker Records. The year after that, she was spotted by Berry Gordy Jr. while playing live, and signed to his Motown label. Attractive and talented, she became romantically linked with both James Brown and David Ruffin, lead singer of The Temptations.

Initially Terrell recorded solo, with only moderate success. However, from 1967 onwards she recorded a series of duets with Marvin Gaye, producing hits with Ashford & Simpson written tunes such as "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" and "You're All I Need to Get By". Unfortunately, Terrell's success was to be short-lived. On October 14, 1967, while in concert at the homecoming for Hampton University in Virginia (contrary to popular belief, it was not Hampden-Sydney College, also in Virginia), she collapsed in Gaye's arms and was rushed to the hospital, where she was later diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Although she continued to write and perform in the studio, her health deteriorated. She was unable to record, and Valerie Simpson recorded most of the female vocals on the final Gaye/Terrell duet album, Easy. Terrell died on March 16, 1970 at the age of 24.

Rumors persist that her condition was either brought on or worsened by domestic abuse from her live-in boyfriend, David Ruffin. While Ruffin and Terrell did fight, it was never proven that Ruffin abused her severely enough to damage her in such a way.

In part, Marvin Gaye's classic album What's Going On, an introspective, low-key work which dealt with mature themes, was a reaction to Terrell's untimely passing. Both Terrell's solo work and her duets with Marvin Gaye remain in print today.



With Marvin Gaye

  • 1967: United
  • 1968: You're All I Need (6 of its 12 tracks were existing Terrell solo tracks with Gaye overdubs)
  • 1969: Easy
  • 1970: Greatest Hits (posthumous)
  • 2001: The Complete Duets" (compilation of United, You're All I Need, and Easy)


  • 1967: The Early Show (Wand LP, side A is by Tammi Terrell, side B is by Chuck Jackson)
  • 1969: Irresistible



  • 1966: "I Can't Believe You Love Me" #72 US
  • 1966: "Come On and See Me" #80 US
  • 1969: "This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You)" #67 US

With Marvin Gaye

  • 1967: "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" #19 US
  • 1967: "Your Precious Love" #5 US
  • 1967: "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You" #10 US
  • 1968: "If This World Were Mine" #68 US
  • 1968: "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" #8 US
  • 1968: "You're All I Need to Get By" #7 US
  • 1968: "Keep On Lovin' Me, Honey" #24 US
  • 1969: "Good Lovin' Ain't Easy to Come By" #30 US
  • 1969: "What You Gave Me" #49 US
  • 1970: "The Onion Song"/"California Soul" (actually performed by Gaye and Valerie Simpson) #50 US

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Tammi Terrell