The Temptations

American vocal group, The Temptations have been one of the most prominent rhythm & blues band since its formation in 1960.

The group is noted for its signature choreography and ultimate skills in harmonizing, which steered them into the direction of becoming one of the definitive vocal bands in history.

The Temptations
The Temptations

Though they have over the years dominated in the R&B genre, they also incorporated pop and funk together with the psychedelic soul genre in the most smooth and orderly manner.

Aside from the group’s pursuit of a musical career, they have also been featured in several films and television series.

The group signed on with the Motown Record label and has since been labeled the Motown Vocal Group. 

The musical style of the band consists of smooth soul, Motown, AM pop, psychedelic, Early Rhythm & Blues (R&B) and Funk.

The band’s original line-up was formed from a group of professionals from two contending vocal groups, The Primes and The Distants.

After over twenty subtle line-up changes, their most notable line-up consists of founder Otis Williams (Baritone) and the following:

  • Terry Wayne Weeks
  • Ron Tyson
  • Willie Greene Jr
  • Mario Corbino


The Temptations have been honored and awarded severally by award organizations.

At least nine of the group’s studio albums have received the RIAA Gold certifications.

At least seven of the band’s compilations have also received US Gold and Platinum certifications, a few being the 1966 and 1970 albums, Greatest Hits and Greatest Hits II.

Their 1981 album, All The Million Sellers received the US Platinum certification.

The Temptations have had four of their singles in the Number 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 list and were ranked 68th on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Artists of All-Time. 

Three of the band’s most classic songs, Papa Was a Rollin’ StoneMy Girl and Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me) have been enlisted in the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that shaped Rock and Roll.

The band has won four Grammy awards and nine nominations. Their Grammys are for:

  • Best Rhythm & Blues Performance By a Duo or Group Vocal or Instrumental (1968)
  • Best R&B Instrumental Performance (1972)
  • Best R&B Performance By a Duo, Group or Chorus (1972)
  • Best Traditional R&B Vocal Album for their album Ear-Resistible in 2000

In 2013, they received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

They were also named Best R&B /Soul Album- Group, Band, or Duo for their album Phoenix Rising and were nominated for the Best R&B /Soul Song- Group, Band or Duo for their song Stay by Soul Train Awards both in 1999.

Interesting Facts about The Temptations

There are some very fascinating facts and truths about the American vocal group; some of which are derived from events that happened pre & post their many successes. A few of these are listed below.

  • The Temptations is a black founded and membered band.
  • Otis Williams owns rights to the group’s name.
  • Former Tenor part singer, Eddie Kendricks brought up a strong proposition in the early years of 1960 to record a solo album while still in the group. This proposition was opposed constantly by the other members of the band.
  • The band was first named The Elgins at the time of its inception in 1960. They later referred to themselves as The Pirates before becoming The Temptations in 1961.
  • Former lead singer of the group David Eli Ruffin from 1964 to 1968 became a stalker of the band after he was fired in June 1968. David Ruffin continuously attended concerts of the band and would subsequently jump onto the stage as the band was performing to join them in singing. He was always taken offstage by the band’s security.
  • Founding member Paul Williams was sickle-cell anemic and suffered from serious depression and anxiety disorders which resulted in him becoming an alcoholic. After a few years with the band, his physical and mental health began depreciating. At the end of his career, Paul William could only lip-sync.

Brief Conclusion

The Temptations arevone of the most enduring bands in the history of Rock N’ Roll. Even after losing most of its original members, the group still holds on to its legacy by creating new memories through new hires.

As of 2018 after the death of Dennis Edwards, the band regrouped and released an album. The group hired its newest member Mario Carbino in June 2020 amidst the global pandemic.

They have announced plans to release a series of albums once the COVID- 19 pandemic is over.

Top Songs by The Temptations

  • “(I Know) I’m Losing You”
  • “(Loneliness Made Me Realize) It’s You That I Need”
  • “A Fine Mess”
  • “Aiming at Your Heart”
  • “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”
  • “All I Need”
  • “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World Is Today)”
  • “Bare Back”
  • “Beauty Is Only Skin Deep”
  • “Check Yourself”
  • “Cloud Nine”
  • “Do You Really Love Your Baby”
  • “Don’t Look Back”
  • “Don’t Let The Joneses Get You Down”
  • “Dream Come True”
  • “Ever Ready Love”
  • “Farewell My Love”
  • “Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On”
  • “Get Ready”
  • “Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue)”
  • “Glasshouse”
  • “Happy People”
  • “Heavenly”
  • “Hey Girl (I Like Your Style)”
  • “How Can You Say That It’s Over”
  • “Hum Along and Dance”
  • “I Can’t Get Next to You”
  • “I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)”
  • “I Second That Emotion”
  • “I Truly, Truly Believe”
  • “I Want A Love I Can See”
  • “I Wish It Would Rain”
  • “I’ll Be in Trouble”
  • “I’ll Try Something New”
  • “I’m Fascinated”
  • “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”
  • “In a Lifetime”
  • “It’s Growing”
  • “It’s Summer”
  • “I’ve Been Good To You”
  • “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)”
  • “Keep Holdin’ On”
  • “Lady Soul”
  • “Law of the Land”
  • “Let Your Hair Down”
  • “Love on My Mind Tonight”
  • “Masterpiece”
  • “Mind Over Matter (I’m Gonna Make You Mine)”
  • “Miss Busy Body (Get Your Body Busy)”
  • “More on the Inside”
  • “Mother Nature”
  • “My Baby”
  • “My Girl”
  • “My Love Is True (Truly for You)”
  • “Oh Mother of Mine”
  • “Oh What a Night”
  • “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”
  • “Paradise”
  • “Plastic Man”
  • “Please Return Your Love To Me”
  • “Power”
  • “Psychedelic Shack”
  • “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
  • “Runaway Child, Running Wild”
  • “Sail Away”
  • “Shakey Ground”
  • “Silent Night”
  • “Since I Lost My Baby”
  • “Someone”
  • “Standing on the Top – Pt. 1”
  • “Struck by Lightning Twice”
  • “Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are)”
  • “Take a Look Around”
  • “Take Me Away”
  • “The Girl’s Alright with Me”
  • “The Way You Do the Things You Do”
  • “The Weight”
  • “Think for Yourself”
  • “To Be Continued…”
  • “Touch Me”
  • “Treat Her Like a Lady”
  • “Ungena Za Ulimwengu (Unite The World)”
  • “Up The Creek (Without A Paddle)”
  • “Who Are You (and What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life)”
  • “Why (Must We Fall in Love)”
  • “You’re My Everything”
  • “You’ve Got My Soul on Fire”
  • “You’ve Got to Earn It”

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