Dennis Edwards

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Dennis Edwards (born February 3, 1943) is an American soul and R&B singer, most noted for being one of Motown act The Temptations' lead singers. Before joining The Contours in 1967, Edwards recorded a single for the obscure Detroit label, International Soulville Records. The single was a track called "I Didn't Have To (But I Did)" with "Johnnie On The Spot". The record is very rare and sought after by northern soul fans. It has sold for prices ranging from $3000.00 to $6000.00 USD. Edwards soon replaced David Ruffin as lead singer of The Temptations on July 9th 1968 after Ruffin was fired for what has been deemed unprofessional behavior. Edwards had been a friend of the group beforehand and in particular had been a friend of Ruffin's. With his gospel-hewn vocals, Edwards led the group through its psychedelic, funk, and disco periods; two of the Temptations songs he appears on, "Cloud Nine" and "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone", won Grammy Awards. When "Papa" was first presented to the group, Edwards angrily refused to sing the first verse, because his father had actually died on "the third of September", just like the father portrayed in the song. He was greatly offended by this coincidence and accused songwriters Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong of deliberately assigning him the verse. They denied that the lyric assignment was intentional. Edwards remained in the Temptations until being fired by Otis Williams in 1977 just before the group's departure from Motown to Atlantic Records. After a failed attempt at a Motown solo career, Edwards rejoined the Temptations in 1980, when they returned to Motown. In 1982, Edwards got the chance to sing with Ruffin when Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks were part of the Reunion album and tour. Edwards began missing shows and rehearsals, and was replaced in 1984 by Ali-Ollie Woodson. At this time, Motown launched Edwards' solo career, and he had a hit with the 1984 single "Don't Look Any Further", a duet with Siedah Garrett. When problems arose between Woodson and the Temptations in 1987, Edwards was brought back once again, but was himself replaced by Woodson in 1989 after being fired a third and final time by Otis Williams. Edwards toured and recorded with fellow ex-Temptations David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks during the late-1980s as "Ruffin/Kendricks/Edwards, Former Leads of The Temptations". After the deaths of both Ruffin and Kendricks, Edwards was forced to wrap up the project alone. During the 1990s, Edwards began touring under the name "Dennis Edwards & the Temptations", prompting a legal battle between himself and Otis Williams. It was decided that Edwards' group would be called "The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards", the name that Edwards tours under to this day. Edwards' current group includes Paul Williams Jr., David Sea, Mike Patillo, and Chris Arnold. Dennis Edwards was the tallest Temptations' Member at 6'4" tall, matched only by David Ruffin. Edwards was portrayed by Charles Ley in the 1998 The Temptations biographical miniseries, though he was not heavily focused upon, as the miniseries gave more attention to the Ruffin-era Temptations line up.

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