R&B singer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer Billy Griffin was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. As a member of the group the Last Dynasty, he was offered a recording contract with the RCA label -- the prize for winning a televised talent competition. The deal didn't materialize. Instead, Griffin auditioned as the replacement for personal idol Smokey Robinson in the Miracles. He got the job, and fronted, wrote, and produced for the group from 1972 through 1978. This period was highlighted by the multi-platinum concept album City of Angels, which featured the number one Billboard Hot 100 hit title track -- one of many Miracles songs Griffin co-composed. As a solo artist in the '80s, Griffin recorded for Columbia, where he released the albums Be with Me (1982), featuring "Hold Me Tighter in the Rain," Respect (1983), and Systematic (1985). During the latter half of the decade and the early portion of the '90s, Griffin recorded singles for Atlantic and Motorcity while assisting the likes of Limahl, Rodney Franklin, and Mary Wells. Beside creative partner Ian Levine, he co-produced and co-wrote material for the Pasadenas and Take That. In 2006, Griffin reappeared as a solo artist with Like Water, released on the U.K.'s Expansion label.