Dennis Edwards, Lead Singer of The Temptations, Dead at 74

Dennis Edwards—a former lead singer of the Temptations with a gritty, powerful voice—has died, a day before his 75th birthday.

Edwards joined the Temptations in 1968, replacing David Ruffin as the Motown legends’ lead vocalist. He sang on such classics as “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” “Cloud Nine,” and “I Can’t Get Next to You,” leading the group through its experiments in psychedelic soul, funk, and disco. (Ruffins would infamously crash a number of Edwards’ early performances with the group, trying to upstage his replacement.)

Though his first tenure with the Temptations ended in 1977, he would continue to be associated with the group, rejoining for briefer stints in the ‘80s and, later, for reunion tours with some or all of the members of the Temptations. In one such tour, he would even join Ruffin and another former Temptation lead singer, Eddie Kendricks.

In the 1980s, Edwards was also a solo artist for Motown, having hits with “Don’t Look Any Further” (a duet with Siedah Garrett) and his cover of “Try a Little Tenderness.”

While not disclosing the cause of death, Edwards’ family confirmed his passing to CBS News. Otis Williams is the last living original member of the Temptations.

The Temptations - "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" Live on Soul Train, 1972
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