Music

Last Surviving Founder Of Four Tops Considering Farewell Tour

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Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

The 60th anniversary of the Four Tops is fast approaching, but one member’s time on the road appears to be coming to a close. Abdul “Duke” Fakir, one of the founding members of the legendary Motown quartet, is contemplating one final tour before he puts his career to rest.

“I know about that time I’ll be right at the age of 80,” Fakir tells Billboard regarding the farewell tour, which would occur in 2014. “It doesn’t seem I should be singing and traveling the world at that age. Energy-wise and physically I still feel great, but I don’t know — in my head I feel like that may be the right time.”

The foursome will continue even after Fakir’s departure, whenever that may be. He already has a few people in mind to join: Lawrence “Roquel” Payton, Jr. (son of original member Lawrence Payton), Ronnie McNeir and Harold “Spike” Bonhart. Fakir is the lone surviving member of the Four Tops (who formed in 1953).
Lawrence Payton passed away in 1997 from liver cancer. Renaldo “Obie” Benson continued to tour and perform just months before his death in 2005 from lung cancer (he also had a leg amputated earlier in 2005) and Levi Stubbs passed away in 2008.

– EJ Judge, WCBS-FM, New York

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