Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A member of The Contours during the late-1960s, Edwards soon replaced David Ruffin in The Temptations, a group he joined and left three times (1968 - 1977, 1980 - 1984, 1987). Edwards led the group through its psychedelic, funk, and disco periods; two of the Tempts songs he apperars on, "Cloud Nine" and "Papa Was A Rolling Stone", won Grammy Awards.
When "Papa" was first presented to the group, Edwards angrily refused to sing the first verse, because his real-life father had died on September 3, 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 it was intentional.
In 1982, Edwards got the chance to sing with Ruffin when Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks were part of the Reunion album and tour. Between 1984 and 1987, Edwards released records as a solo artist, and had a hit with the single "Don't Look Any Further".
Edwards also toured and recorded with David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks during the late-1980s as "Ruffin/Kendrick/Edwards, Former Leads of The Temptations". After the deaths of both Ruffin and Kendrick, Edwards was forced to wrap up the project alone. He continues to tour, sometimes billing himself as Dennis Edwards of the Temptations or The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards, drawing the ire of Motown, who owns the trademark.
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