Singer and songwriter Warren "Pete" Moore, best known for his time with Motown legends the Miracles, has died at age 78.
Moore's death on Nov. 19 -- his birthday -- was confirmed in a statement by Motown founder Berry Gordy.
"I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Warren 'Pete' Moore, a fine human being and valued member of the Motown family," Gordy said, according to Rolling Stone. "Pete was an original member of my very first group, the Miracles. He was a quiet spirit with a wonderful Bass voice behind Smokey Robinson's soft, distinctive lead vocals and was co-writer on several of the Miracles hits. A gentleman, loving husband, devoted father and loyal friend, we all loved him and will miss him."
Gordy did not specify a cause of death.
Moore and former Miracles frontman Smokey Robinson were friends growing up in Detroit; in high school, they formed the group that would eventually become the Miracles.
"It's always tough to lose someone that you love," Robinson wrote on Twitter. "Pete Moore was my brother since I was 11 years old. I'm really going to miss him."
Moore stayed with the Miracles after Robinson left the group in 1971 and remained in the group until it was dissolved in 1978.
In addition to his vocal work in the group, Moore played a hand in writing some of the group's biggest hits, including "Love Machine," "Tears of a Clown," "The Tracks of my Tears" and "Ooo Baby Baby." He also received writing credits on songs for other artists, including The Temptations and Marvin Gaye.
The Miracles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, 25 years after Robinson was inducted as a solo performer. In 2012, Moore told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the long delay was a "slap in the face, very disappointing."
"We are the premiere group of Motown," Moore said at the time. "We were there before there was a Motown. We set the pace for all the other artists to come after us. We were a little older, and the other artists looked up to us. How could we not be in there?"
Robinson agreed with Moore that the entire group should have been inducted at the same time he was. After the Miracles' induction was announced, Robinson told Billboard he had been "making calls and signing petitions and everything" trying to get the group in the Hall of Fame since the 80s.
"I don't understand why it was, like, a task to get the Miracles in there. We were one of the hottest and most prolific groups in the world at that time, so I don't understand the hesitancy," he said.
Sources: Rolling Stone, Smokey Robinson/Twitter, Billboard, Cleveland Plain Dealer / Featured Image: CMA International Management Company via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Billboard via Wikimedia Commons, David100b/Wikimedia Commons