Temptations Singer Dennis Edwards Dead at 74

Dennis Edwards performs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tribute concert honoring Aretha Franklin during the 16th American Music Masters Tribute at PlayhouseSquare’s State Theatre on Nov. 5, 2011, in Cleveland. (Jason Miller/Getty Images for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

Temptations singer Dennis Edwards died in a Chicago hospital Friday after a long illness, just one day before he would have turned 75.

His death was confirmed to ABC Radio by his manager, Toby Ludwig, ABC7 reports.

Edwards joined the famous Motown group in 1968, stepping in to replace lead singer and founding member David Ruffin. His strong, rough voice provided lead vocals on several Temptations hits, including “Cloud Nine,” “Ball of Confusion,” “I Can’t Get Next to You” and my personal favorite, “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.”


Edwards went on to have a successful solo career that spawned the 1984 hit “Don’t Look Any Further,” a duet with Siedah Garrett.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a Temptation in 1989.

In the ’90s, he toured with a group billed as the Temptations Review Featuring Dennis Edwards.


Fans and friends of the singer—including former BET VJ Donnie Simpson and the Rev. Jesse Jackson— paid tribute to the singer on Twitter as news of his death spread.


I always loved the sound of his voice. It is what made “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” such a great song.

Of course, “Don’t Look Any Further” is probably what most Gen X, Gen Y and millennials will remember him for. This song gave us one of the greatest hip-hop samples of all time.

Rest in paradise, Dennis.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this post mentioned that Edwards shared lead vocals with Eddie Kendricks on “Just My Imagination.” In fact, it was Paul Williams.

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Monique Judge

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.