Melvin Franklin, original member and the deep-voiced anchor of the Temptations, died Feb. 23 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles following a series of seizures.
He had suffered significant neurological damage, which was aggravated by diabetes and other medical problems, according to the hospital. He was 52.
Born David English on Oct. 12,1942, in Montgomery, Ala., Franklin started singing with the Primes, which joined forces with members of the Distants to become the Elgins. The Elgins were signed to a subsidiary of Berry Gordy’s Motown in 1960.
Two years later, Franklin joined with Otis Williams, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams and Eldridge Bryant to form the Temptations. David Ruffin replaced Bryant in 1964, and the group signed with Motown.
The group’s first hit was “The Way You Do the Things You Do” in 1964. Their unique blend of rock and soul would eventually sell an estimated 22 million records during a 20-year career.
They had 43 top 10 singles with such hits as “My Girl,” “It’s Growing,” “Since I Lost My Baby,” “Get Ready,” “All I Need,” “Just My Imagination,” “Cloud Nine,” “Runaway Child” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.”