Chicago, Illinois, USA: Former Temptations lead singer and Motown legend, Dennis Edwards has died in Chicago at age 74, as confirmed by members of his family, today, Friday (February 2). The cause of death wasn’t disclosed. Dennis Edwards would have been 75 tomorrow, Saturday, February 3rd.
The Motown Records sensations — responsible for classic songs like Papa Was A Rolling Stone , I Can’t Get Next to You , Cloud Nine, Ball Of Confusion etc — were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. In 2013, they received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Edwards, who was born in Alabama and raised in Detroit, joined The Temptations in 1968, replacing the group’s second singer David Ruffin (the original singer was Elbridge “Al” Bryant). He was the lead singer from 1968 to 1976 and worked with the group in subsequent reunions during the ’80s.
Paul Riser, a Motown arranger and musician, worked with Edwards during the label’s Detroit heyday and subsequent projects. He says Edwards possessed a “voice for the ages,” His soulful, passionate voice defined the group for years.
He left the band in 1977 and pursued a solo career.
His first solo album, Don’t Look Any Further, reached the number two spot on the R&B charts.
The title track of his next album, Coolin’ Out, was an R&B Top 30 hit.
He returned to The Temptations in 1980 when they left Atlantic Records to return to Motown.
He was wed to Ruth Pointer, of the vocal group The Pointer Sisters, from 1976 to 1977. They had daughter, Issa Pointer.
At the time of his death, the icon was married to Brenda Edwards.
The Temptations’ music has been sampled by numerous Hip Hop artists, including Eric B. & Rakim, 2Pac, Common, Jadakiss, Kanye West, Public Enemy, J Dilla, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Lil Wayne, Cut Chemist and Kool G Rap.