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Aug 3, 2011 1:56 PM by Kirsten Bennett

Top 40 songwriter dies at 76

KITTERY, Maine (AP) - Gene McDaniels, a singer who became a star in the 1960s after several Top 40 hits and later a hit-making songwriter, has died in Maine. He was 76.

Karen McDaniels told the Associated Press her husband died Friday at their home in Kittery after a short illness.

McDaniels' song "A Hundred Pounds of Clay" peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard pop chart in 1961, the same year "Tower of Strength" hit No. 5. He also recorded "Point of No Return" and other hits.

He later earned success as a songwriter with tunes recorded by artists including Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Johnny Mathis and Ray Charles. His best-known song, "Feel Like Makin' Love," was originally recorded by Robert Flack.

McDaniels is survived by his wife, five sons, one daughter and a sister.

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