NEW YORK (AP) – Songwriter Kenneth “Ken” Williams, who has written or co-written hundreds of tunes for countless artists including Donny Hathaway, The Four Tops and Peaches & Herb, including The Main Ingredient hit “Everybody Plays the Fool” , died. He was 83 years old.
Williams died on June 17 after a long illness unrelated to COVID-19 at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York, his wife, Broadway actress and singer Mary Seymour Williams, said.
Williams co-wrote the now classic song “Everybody Plays the Fool” with Rudy Clark and J. R. Bailey, originally recorded in 1972 and covered by many artists. In recent years, Williams’ products have been sampled by artists such as Alicia Keys and Lil Wayne.
In 1968, Williams founded A Dish-A-Tunes LLC Publishing, a family-owned music company. Over the past five decades, Williams has added over 500 songs to his music catalog.
In 2004, “You Don’t Know My Name”, recorded by Keys and produced by Kane West on Alicia Keys Diary, won a Grammy, as did Williams, as it sampled the 1975 song “Let Me Prove My Love for You, co-written with Williams and performed by The Main Ingredient.
Some of his songs include “Love, Love, Love” (Donny Hathaway), “I Can’t See Myself Without You” (Impala), “Let Me Prove I Love You” (Main Ingredient), “Only When You’re Alone” (Holly Maxwell), “Seven Lonely Nights” (Four Peaks), “Hold On” (Margaret Reynolds) and “I Hope You Come Back” (Sandra Phillips).
Williams is survived by his wife; sister Dorothy Jones; voiced by Kenny Williams Jr., Kevin D. Williams and Calvin Williams; daughter Cheryl Nicholson; stepson Kenny J. Seymour; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.