Abdul “Duke” Fakir was born on 26 December, 1935 in Detroit, Michigan. He is of Ethiopian and Bangladeshi ancestry. He is an Ethiopian-American singer. He is a founding member of the Motown act the Four Tops, from 1953 to the present day. A first tenor, Fakir is the group’s lone surviving original member, performing today with Ronnie McNeir, Lawrence “Roquel” Payton, Jr. (son of original member Lawrence Payton), and Harold Bonhart.
He first met fellow member Levi Stubbs through neighborhood football games, even though he was not aware Stubbs was a singer. Later, attending a variety show featuring the Lucky Millinder band, the band announced a talented young singer who Fakir recognized as the boy he played football with. They became closer friends and Stubbs even traveled with Fakir to his sporting events, where they enjoyed singing and engaging teammates in sing-a-longs.
They originally gave themselves the name “The Four Aims” to describe their goals of achieving something great, but at their first recording session with Chess Records in Chicago, they were reminded that the singing quartet, the Ames Brothers, was a very popular group, and it was suggested that they change their name. After some discussion, their musical director Maurice King suggested the name the Four Tops, to go along with their original goal of shooting for the stars and reaching the top. They excel since then till date, they still satisfy their fans.