Dennis Edwards, a former lead singer of the Motown group the Temptations, died on February 1st at the age of 74. He passed away only two days before his 75th birthday.
The man was truly a soul legend. Edwards joined the group from 1968 until 1977, and later rejoined for reunions in the '80s. Although we were devastated to hear of his passing, we are certain that a legacy like his will never fade.
It was a moment in history when Edwards joined the group, which ended the "Classic Five" era that said goodbye to their first lead singer, David Ruffin. The smooth sound the quintet once had was replaced by something new and exciting: blues, soul-rock, and funk.
Edwards's first album with the group was Live at the Copa. In that year, he collaborated with great singers like Diana Ross & the Supremes. This led to hits like "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" and "Together."
Soon after, hits like "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" and "Cloud Nine" were constantly played on the radio, and we couldn't get enough of the iconic group.
Edwards also released solo albums and found success with his song "Don't Look Any Further." Years later, he received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Unfortunately, while the retired singer was living in Missouri, he was diagnosed with a disease that slowly took his life.
Edwards was diagnosed with meningitis in May 2017, and had been in and out of hospital ever since.
The disease is caused by bacteria and viruses that, in most cases, live in our bodies. If these germs spread to the brain or spinal chord, it will cause them to swell. This inflammation triggers headaches, fever, and neck stiffness.
While many recover from the virus, bacterial meningitis can be deadly.
His wife told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the former lead singer died at a hospital in Chicago of complications from the disease.
"It really saddens me to know that another Motown soldier is gone. Rest in peace, my brother. You were a great talent," Smokey Robinson told Rolling Stone.
More musicians took to social media to send their condolences:
RIP Dennis Edwards, beautiful soul who gave me my first shot by recording and performing our classic duet “Don’t Look Any Further”, we’ve lost another great one. #DennisEdwards #TheTemptations #DontLookAnyFurther #RIPDennisEdwards #ThankYouDennisEdwars #restinpeace #FridayFeeling pic.twitter.com/cA5JkIdiQr— SIEDAH GARRETT (@SIEDAHGARRETT) February 2, 2018
Statement from #BerryGordy, Founder of #Motown:— Classic Motown (@ClassicMotown) February 3, 2018
"I am saddened about the passing of the one and only, #DennisEdwards. Another bright light from our Motown family is gone.
Dennis was the perfect artist to join the Temptations at a critical time in the group’s rise.
Sad to learn of the passing of music great Dennis Edwards of The Temptations. I had the honor several years ago to do a UK Legends Tour w him. We shared a joint Aquarian BDay dinner celebration. Rest In Peace Dennis. Condolences to his family and friends😔🙏🏽✨ #DennisEdwards pic.twitter.com/KvmyqgGQfa— Jody Watley (@jodywatley) February 2, 2018
Edwards leaves behind his wife, daughters, son, and many grandchildren.