A Salute to The Temptations’ Second Lead Singer: Dennis Edwards

A Salute to The Temptations’ Second Lead Singer: Dennis Edwards


Who could ever replace David Ruffin. At the time he departed The Temptations in 1968, the answer would appear to be no one. Ruffin was part of The Temptations “classic five” lineup and had a seemingly irreplaceable voice that was the sound of the group. Ruffin sang lead on “My Girl” and “Ain’t to Proud to Beg,” two massive hits for The Temptations that remain classics to this day.

Then came Dennis Edwards.

In June 1968, after Ruffin missed a concert in Cleveland, Ohio,  the Temptations fired Ruffin as their lead singer on June 27, 1968.

He was replaced with Dennis Edwards.  Edwards was born in Alabama and was a teenage member of the The Mighty Clouds of Joy. He later became a member of The Contours.

Edwards would go on to be equally iconic. He would sing the lead on  “Cloud Nine” (1968), “I Can’t Get Next to You” (1969), “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World Is Today)” (1970) and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone (1972).


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Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke is a writer, comms strategist and political analyst. She created Crewof42, a blog focused on African American members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke also writes for NBC BLK, The Root, NNPA and is the Managing Editor of Politic365. As part of a diverse career in politics and media, she has served as a congressional staffer for the U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee, Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) and Director of Communications for Justin Fairfax for Lt. Governor of Virginia. From 2014 to 2017, Ms. Burke appeared each Monday on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin on TVOne. Ms. Burke holds a B.A. in History from The American University. She was born and raised in New York. Email: LBurke007@gmail.com. Twitter: @LVBurke. IG: @laurenvburke. Periscope: @LVBurke