b. Michael Larry Smith, St Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
Michael first established himself as a songwriter and musician.
Here he met Holland / Dozier / Holland and signed himself and his brothers as The Smith Connection to their Invictus label.
Michael also moved into production for other acts on the Invictus / Hot Wax labels including Honey Cone.
From here Michael met Jermaine Jackson for whom he co-wrote and produced songs for the album 'My Name Is Jermaine' (1976), including 'My Touch Of Madness'.
This led to a position at Motown as an engineer, pianist, music conductor and writer.
In 1977, he wrote and produced a duet album for G.C.Cameron and Syreeta Wright 'Love, Poor Love', including 'Let's Make A Deal', later co-writing / producing 'Jump On lt' for Ozone (1981) and singing lead on five of the tracks.
In 1981, he released the album 'Lovesmith', as part of the group Lovesmith on Motown Records.
That set featured the track 'Shame On You', that was later to appear on the Expansion Records compilation 'Expansion Soul Sauce Volume Two' in 1993.
In 1983, Motown signed Michael as an artist and released his debut album 'I Can Make It Happen', including 'Baby I Will', popular on the UK soul scene.
Also that year his song 'Better Friends Than Lovers' was recorded by Aretha Franklin on 'Get It Right'.
After a second album 'Diamond In The Raw' (in 1984), he returned in 1985 for 'Rhymes Of Passion', from which 'Break The Ice' and 'Ain't Nothin' Like It' were popular on the UK soul scene.
Michael has also written for Gladys Knight ('Don't Make Me Run Away'), Patti Brooks (producing Patti Brooks), Bobby Brown ('You Ain't Been Loved Right', which he also produced), and has sung backgrounds with Luther Vandross.
Lovesmith (Motown Records 1981)
I Can Make It Happen (Motown Records 1983)
Diamond In The Raw (Motown Records 1984)
Rhymes Of Passion (Motown Records 1985)