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Houston's hit-maker Michael Masser dies at 74

Composer Michael Masser, who wrote and produced some of Whitney Houston's biggest hits, has died.

Masser, 74, died at his home in Rancho Mirage, California, following a long illness, his business manager Kurt Vitolo said.

Born in Chicago, Masser graduated from the University of Illinois and w as working as a New York stockbroker when he decided to make good on his lifelong dream of writing music. His first hit came in 1973 with Diana Ross' Touch Me In The Morning.

And he earned an Oscar nomination for his next hit with Ross, Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To?).

Masser began collaborating with Houston in the early 1980s, writing and producing such hits as The Greatest Love Of All, Saving All My Love and Didn't We Almost Have It All.

His other hits included 1983's Tonight, I Celebrate My Love, performed by Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson, and Natalie Cole's 1989 track Miss You Like Crazy. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007.

He is survived by his wife, two daughters, a son, two grandsons and a sister.

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