Grammy award-winning music legend Dennis Edwards of The Temptations has died. Edwards joined The Temptations in 1968 after the departure of group founder David Ruffin. He was the featured vocalist on hits like “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World is Today)” and “Cloud Nine.” In 1968, the Temptations won their first Grammy for “Cloud Nine,” and won again in 1971 for “Papa was a Rolling Stone” Edwards remained a member of the group through the late 1970s.
In 1984 Edwards released the hit song, “Don’t Look Any Further” with international recording star Siedah Garrett. The song with the funky bass line by Paul Jackson, Jr. is one of the most sampled songs in Hip-Hop.
The song was sampled by rap legends Eric B. and Rakim, The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur and Lil’ Wayne to name a few.
“Don’t Look Any Further” has also been featured prominently in television shows like “The X-Files”, “Everybody Hates Chris” and “How to Make it in America.” The 1984 music video for the song, which reflects early 1980s music video aesthetics, has become a cult classic in pop culture.
In the 1990s, Edwards formed a splinter act that eventually toured as The Temptations Review Featuring Dennis Edwards. In 2013, the Grammys awarded The Temptations with a lifetime achievement award. In 1989, The Temptations were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Born in 1943 in Fairfield, Alabama and raised in Detroit, Edwards was famously married to Ruth Pointer in 1977 of the Pointer Sisters with whom he shares one daughter, Issa. He is survived by his wife Brenda, five daughters, one son and grandchildren. Edwards died at 74 in a Chicago hospital, one day before his 75th birthday. Rest in power.
This post was written and curated by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of the award-winning news blog The Burton Wire. Follow her on Twitter @Ntellectual.