There’s some sad news out of St. Louis that we must report. Dennis Edwards, 74, the former lead singer of The Temptations, is said to be hospitalized and is listed as “seriously ill.”
The information is courtesy of Ken Bedford via his Facebook page:
“Prayers are needed for singer Dennis Edwards of the Temptations. He was admitted to a St Louis hospital after returning from a concert date in Canada last week. He is seriously ill and I won’t say any more until until his wife releases details. As for now until further information is released please join me in praying for his recovery. Upcoming dates included the OJays in a couple of weeks. I have known Dennis for many years and he along with Chris Arnold also of the Temptations, who lives in Chicago, have been major supporters of my Breast cancer awareness program by performing ‘live’.”
Obviously we also send our well wishes and prayers for a full recovery for Mr. Edwards. If you’re not familiar with Dennis Edwards and his illustrious career, here’s MORE via his Wikipedia page:
Dennis Edwards (born February 3, 1943) is an American soul and R&B singer, notably a lead singer in The Temptations, on Motown Records. Edwards joined the Temptations in 1968, replacing David Ruffin and sang with the group from 1968 to 1976, 1980 to 1984 and 1987 to 1989. In the mid-1980s, he attempted a solo career, scoring a hit in 1984 with “Don’t Look Any Further” (featuring Siedah Garrett). Today he is the lead singer of The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards, a Temptations splinter group.
Early years and career
Edwards was born in Fairfield, Alabama, about eight miles from Birmingham, to Reverend and Mrs. Dennis Edwards Sr., He began singing as a toddler, just two years old, in his fathers’ church. The Edwards family moved to Detroit, Michigan when Edwards was about ten years old, and Edwards would continue to sing in the church pastored by his father, eventually becoming choir director.
As a teenager, Edwards joined a gospel vocal group called The Mighty Clouds of Joy, and studied music at the Detroit Conservatory of Music. He was disallowed from singing or listening to secular music at home, and his mother did not approve when he began pursuit of a career singing rhythm and blues music. In 1961 he organized his own soul/jazz group, Dennis Edwards and the Fireballs. In 1961, Edwards recorded a single for the obscure Detroit label, International Soulville Records, “I Didn’t Have to (But I Did)” b/w “Johnnie on the Spot.”
Following time served in the US military, in 1966 Edwards auditioned for Detroit’s Motown Records, where he was signed but placed on retainer. Later that year, he was assigned to join The Contours after their lead singer fell ill. In 1967, the Contours were the opening act for several Temptations concerts, and Temptations members Eddie Kendricks and Otis Williams – who were considering replacing their own lead singer, David Ruffin (who was a personal friend of Edwards), took notice of Edwards and made his acquaintance.
The Temptations years
Later in 1967, Edwards quit the Contours and was placed back on retainer. He attempted to get a release from his contract, as Holland-Dozier-Holland had promised to sign him to their new Invictus Records, but was drafted in late June 1968 to join the Temptations, who had just fired Ruffin from the act.
Ruffin had tipped Edwards off that he was being drafted as his replacement, which eased Edwards’ conscience in replacing him. The Temptations officially introduced Edwards on July 9, 1968 on stage in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. However, Ruffin, who was attempting to make his way back into the group, crashed the stage during Edwards’ lead vocal on “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” to significant applause. He continued similar stunts for about a month until, according to Edwards, the group decided to lay-off Edwards – with the promise of a solo deal from Motown – and rehire Ruffin. When Ruffin failed to show for his return engagement in Gaithersburg, Maryland the next night, Edwards was permanently kept on and the Temptations refused to entertain rehiring Ruffin any further.