He is a singer-songwriter, producer and actor born in
He was a member of groups such as Long Dynasty and The
Tempos in the late ‘60s/early 1970s and took over the lead vocals of
The Miracles after Smoky Robinson left the group in 1972. He saw success with them first in
1973 with the No. 13 hit “Do It Baby” and after writing the
bulk of the album City of Angels with his Miracles co-member Pete
Moore in 1975, their song “Love Machine” became a Platinum
selling chart topping hit in the US and a No. 3 hit in the UK. This would turn out to be the The
Miracles’ most successful hit.
After the group went to Columbia Records in 1976 he
remained with them for another couple of albums and then Pete Moore and he
went off on their own to concentrate on songwriting.
In 1982 he went back to recording as a solo artist and
released his debut album Be With Me, which produced the UK hit single “Hold
Me Tighter in the Rain”.
A year later he released Respect and once again he had a hit
with the single “Serious”.
Another album was released and he moved to Atlantic Records but
after only releasing one album and one single with them he lost his
contract. At the end of the
1980s he released “First in Line” on Motorcity Records but his
album Technicolour was never released due to the winding up of the
He joined back up with The Miracles to re-record
“Love Machine” for their reunion and in 1996 the compilation Best
of Billy Griffin – The Very Best of the Motorcity Recordings was
His songwriting and co-producing with Ian Levine was
much in demand though and he continued to see success by co-producing the
successful debut album by Take That and writing hits for groups such as The
Featuring with many artists as a backing vocalist,
producer and/or songwriter, he has worked with Gerald Albright, Herb
Alpert, Lamont Dozier, The Emotions, The Fantastic Four, Aretha Franklin,
Rodney Franklin, Thelma Houston, Ronald Isley, Jigsaw, Evelyn Champagne
King, Teena Marie, The O’Jays, The Originals, Freda Payne, Edwin
Starr, The Supremes, Jody Watley and Wham! to name
just a few.
His compositions have also appeared on several movie
and TV soundtracks such as Ally McBeal, Be Be’s Kids, Donny
Brasco, Chicken Run and Friends. Outside of music he has appeared in
several American soap operas during the course of his career. In the 2000s he was still working as
a solo artist and released his Like Water in 2006.
The Miracles recordings
Love Machine (Part 1)/Love Machine (Part 2) (UK
Tamla Motown TMG 1015