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Solar Records Founder Richard Griffey Dies At 71

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(credit: CBS)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Richard Griffey, whose Solar Records produced R&B hits in the 1980s, has died. He was 71.

His daughter, Regina Hughes, tells the Los Angeles Times that Griffey died Friday at a Canoga Park rehabilitation center from complications of heart surgery that he underwent last year.

Grammy-winner Quincy Jones tells the Times that Griffey was one of the great pioneering executives in the music business.

Griffey created Solar in the 1970s after taking over a record label founded by Don Cornelius, host of the hit TV show “Soul Train.” Solar stood for “Sounds of Los Angeles Records.”

During its two decades of existence, Solar had several R&B and disco hits. They include “And the Beat Goes On” by the Whispers and “It’s No Crime” by Babyface.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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