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Arif Mardin, a Smooth Music Visionary

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Arif Mardin, a Smooth Music Visionary

Arif Mardin, a Smooth Music Visionary

Arif Mardin, a Smooth Music Visionary

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Arif Mardin poses backstage at the Grammy Awards in 2003, when he won the award for producer of the year, non-classical, one of his 12 Grammys. Mark Mainz/Getty Images hide caption

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Mark Mainz/Getty Images

The legendary music producer Arif Mardin, has died. In a long and varied career, Mardin worked with performers ranging from Aretha Franklin to the Bee Gees, and from Chaka Khan to Norah Jones.

In a fickle business where hits and hit-makers come and go like the seasons, Arif Mardin was a rarity: a music producer who kept churning out chart-topping songs for more than four decades.

Mardin's streak began in 1966 with his first hit, "Good Lovin'" by the Rascals.

Born in Turkey, Mardin came to the United States to study music. With Atlantic Records and later EMI, his career was distinguished for its longevity, variety and its success — even in his later years.

Mardin died Sunday. He was suffering from pancreatic cancer.

Arif Mardin: Tales from the Recording Studio

Arif Mardin: Tales from the Recording Studio

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Legendary music producer Arif Mardin talks about his four-decade career. He's produced albums for artists such as the Bee Gees, Phil Collins, Bette Midler, Dusty Springfield, and more recently, Norah Jones.

Record producer Arif Mardin, 73, has been the wizard behind the curtain for a wide range of pop, country, jazz, and R & B hits. Photo by Julie Mardin hide caption

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Photo by Julie Mardin

The 12-time Grammy winner tells tales from recording sessions with Aretha Franklin and Chaka Khan.