Remembering Tony Washington, gay Motown star



Openly gay Tony Washington (far left) with his group the Dynamic Superiors | Congressional Entertainment Complex | 14034

The Dynamic Superiors were a 1970s Motown act. The lead singer, Tony Washington, was openly gay. His brother, Maurice Washington, was also in the group. Tony was the only openly gay member of the group, although it is understood that another member of the group was also gay.

“I can’t really think of a soul group that had a very openly gay frontman that was on a major label before this. A lot of gay newspapers and magazines interviewed Tony, and he talked about how happy he was that people would come up to him after shows all the time and say he was an inspiration for them to come out. So in the gay community, I think he made an impact,” says music historian Kevin Coombe.

Tony Washington is understood to have died in 1989.



4 thoughts on “Remembering Tony Washington, gay Motown star

  1. Posting a correction to when Tony Washington died.

    I definitely know that Tony was alive in 1980 because I lived directly across the street from Tony and his partner (1600 block of D Street, NE in Washington, DC) from early 1981 until I moved in early 1987 (the house I lived in at that time belonged by my husband’s parents). I believe you misread the information on the Dynamic Superiors website.

    According to a biography posted by WAMU radio in DC (, Tony died 9 years after the group’s last recording — which would make the death year about 1989.


    • I regret the fact that I never got the chance to meet Tony Washington. When I recognized his face singing “Shoe Shoe Shine” and did not know he passed many years ago I am so proud of him and his singing group singing those beautiful songs. We will always love Tony, and he will be greatly missed. His family need to call VHI because this man is life is surely unsung. So many of our people don’t know about how gifted and talent Tony was! Also, i don’t remember hearing thing about his passing which many of us regret not being able to pay our respects.


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