Dennis Edwards, lead singer of The Temptations, dies at 74

Dennis Edwards

Funeral arrangements for Dennis Edwards, lead singer of the legendary group The Temptations, is set for February 17 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Edwards died on February 2 in Chicago at the age of 74. His death has been attributed to complications from meningitis, but with questions about a personal protection order filed on the suspicion of elder abuse, a spokeswoman for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said Edwards’ death is under investigation by Chicago police and that the official cause and manner are pending.

“We are saddened by the news of Dennis Edwards’ passing,” said Henry Beecher Hicks III, president/CEO of the National Museum of African American Music. “His gospel background, combined with inspiration from psychedelic funk, played an important role in the growth and evolution of Motown music. We celebrate his vision and voice, not just in the success of The Temptations, but also in the artists and music today that continue to be influenced by his achievements.”

Singing on hits like ‘Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,’ Edwards solidified The Temptations’ legacy as one of the most iconic musical groups in American history. Edwards joined The Temptations in 1968 after former lead singer David Ruffin left the group.

Edwards attended the Black Music Honors in Nashville last year, a two-hour televised special honoring African American musicians and benefiting the National Museum of African American Music. His role as a music icon will live on through The Temptations’ timeless music and the genres and artists his voice continues to inspire today.