Dennis Edwards, Former Lead Singer of The Temptations, Dead at 74

Dennis Edwards, the lead singer of Motown group The Temptations, has died.

The baritone singer died at a hospital in Chicago sometime Thursday night or Friday morning of complications from an unspecified illness, his manager, Toby Ludwig, told Reuters.

No cause of death has been confirmed at present, however, Edwards family confirmed the death to CBS News.

He left the group after they split with Motown Records in the late 1970s, returning again for several stints in the 1980s.

The singer, who lived outside St. Louis, would have celebrated his 75th birthday on Saturday.

The Temptations, clockwise from far left: Richard Street, Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Dennis Edwards and Damon Harris (center, on stool).

Edwards also later teamed with Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks for a "Tribute to the Temptations" package tour.

Edwards had a gritty voice unlike the falsetto of previous Temptations lead singer David Ruffin, and under Edwards' leadership the group took on a more bluesy, soul-rock sound that was very popular with fans. He joined the group in 1968, to replace one of the group's earlier lead singers, David Ruffin, after David was sacked.

"The only person talkin" "bout love thy brother is the preacher", Edwards sang on "Ball of Confusion". "Please keep my family in prayer". The vocalist "returned home" to Motown Records to begin the most renowed part of his solo career in 1984. Their daughter, Issa Pointer, is now a member of the group.

Edwards married Ruth Pointer of the Pointer Sisters in 1976 and separated two years later. Edwards continued to perform Temptations material as part of splinter group The Temptations Revue Featuring Dennis Edwards up until past year.

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