Black History Month In Focus: R.I.P. Dennis Edwards

This is part of The Shadow League’s yearly Black History Month In Focus series celebrating Black excellence in sports and culture.

Dennis Edwards, the legendary vocalist with The Temptations, passed away today just one day shy of his 75th birthday.

Cloud Nine: The Temptations

One of my favorites. from the temptations show

Edwards was born in Birmingham, Alabama and his family moved to Detroit when he was seven. He auditioned for Motown Records in 1966 at the behest of bass legend James Jamerson, who heard him singing one night. Edwards was quickly enlisted as the lead singer for the Contours.

Papa was a Rolling Stone- The Temptations (Full Version)

The Temptations Papa was a Rolling Stone(Full Version) -russell887

The Contours opened for the wildly popular Temptations on a number of occasions, and group members Eddie Kendricks and Otis Williams liked what they saw in Edwards.

His big break came when wild man David Ruffin left the Temptations, and he was tabbed to replace him. People who thought the group would never recover from the loss of Ruffin’s lyrical magic and power were quickly proven wrong. 

The Temptations- I can’t get next to you

Amazing band! I can’t get next to you- The Temptations

Edwards was a dynamo as a lead singer on some of the group’s greatest, most soulful and penetrating tracks like “Cloud Nine,” “I Can’t Get Next to You,” “Ball of Confusion,” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone”, among many others.

He also later pursued a solo career, but never strayed too far and was always welcomed back into the Temptations fold. His solo hit, “Don’t Look Any Further,” with Siedah Garrett, is one of the greatest R&B songs ever recorded.

Dennis Edwards – Don’t Look Any Further ft. Siedah Garrett

Best of DennisEdwards: Subscribe here: Music video by Dennis Edwards performing Don’t Look Any Further. (C) 1984 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

The music world lost a giant today. And as we reflect on Black History Month, it’s only appropriate that we pay homage to a man whose voice and musical legacy will endure forever.

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