Dennis Edwards, the primary voice of such Temptations classics as "Cloud Nine," "Psychedelic Shack" and "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," died Thursday night in a Chicago hospital. He would have turned 75 on Saturday.
His wife Brenda tells the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch that Dennis had been in and out of hospitals since last May when he was diagnosed with meningitis. Edwards had lived in suburban Saint Louis in recent years.
Edwards joined The Temptations in 1968, when David Ruffin quit the group to go solo. Already a Motown artist as a post-"Do You Love Me" member of The Contours, Dennis brought a gospel-trained baritone that fit the group as it added socially conscious material to its catalog of love and broken-love songs.
Dennis remained with The Temptations through 1976. After returning briefly in the late '80s, he formed his own rival group, which after a lawsuit he was allowed to call The Temptations Review.
Edwards was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, along with Ruffin and the other members of the Tempts' hit-making lineup.