Well known for decades among musicians, the Funk Brothers provided uncredited instrumental support to all of Motown’s biggest stars. They gained wider public recognition as the subject of the acclaimed 2002 documentary “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” and were given a lifetime achievement award at the 2004 Grammys.

Mr. Babbitt, who was born Robert Kreinar in Pittsburgh, began doing Motown sessions in the mid-1960s and continued into the early 1970s. James Jamerson was the label’s primary bassist in those years, but Mr. Babbitt provided the bass lines for numerous Motown hits, including Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” the Temptations’ “Ball of Confusion,” Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues” and Edwin Starr’s “War.” He later recorded with Barry Manilow, the Spinners, Alice Cooper and many others.