Former lead singer of legendary Temptations, Dennis Edwards, dead at 74

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Former lead singer of legendary Temptations, Dennis Edwards, dead at 74

The former lead singer of the legendary Motown group The Temptations, Dennis Edwards, has died in Chicago, according to news reports.

Edwards, 74, who replaced The Temptations singer David Ruffin, died Thursday a day before his 75th birthday, his family confirmed to CBS News.

The Temptations perform on BBC TV show Top Of The Pops, 29th March 1972, London, L-R Melvin Franklin, Dennis Edwards, Otis Williams, Damon Harris, Richard Street.  Michael Putland/Getty Images

The Grammy Award-winner joined the successful soul group in 1968 and was featured on a number of hits, including “I Can’t Get Next to You,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and “Ball of Confusion.”  He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 as a member of the Temptations

Edwards was born in Birmingham, Alabama., on Feb. 3, 1943, but considered Detroit his home. 

He was singing with a different group, the Contours, before joining The Temptations after the group fired Ruffin.

Edwards left the group around the time it split with Motown in the mid-1970s, but returned in 1980 when it reunited with Motown. He reunited with and split from the group several more times, until finally calling it quits in 1989, according to Rolling Stone.

A photo of The Temptations’ Richard Street, Otis Williams, Damon Harris, Melvin Franklin and Dennis Edwrads in a group portrait.  Echoes/Redferns

Edwards scored a solo hit, “Don’t Look Any Further,” in the mid-1980s, which climbed to No. 2 on the R&B chart.

Edwards was married to Ruth Pointer of the Pointer Sisters from 1976 to 1977, and had one daughter, Issa Pointer.

He died Thursday night in Chicago. His family did not release a cause of death.

Former Temptations lead singer 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 November 5, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio.  Jason Miller
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