The Temptations are a vocal group from Detroit, Michigan, who released chart-topping singles and albums when they were artists on the Motown label during the 1960s and 1970s.
The group was formed in 1960 as the Elgins. The founding members are members of two rival groups: Otis Williams and the Distants, which consisted of Otis Williams, Elbridge “Al” Bryant and Melvin Franklin; and two members of the Primes, Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams. Bryant was replaced by David Ruffin in 1964. Ruffin was the lead vocalist on some of their biggest hits, such as ‘My Girl’ and ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg’. Although Smokey Robinson wrote and produced most of the Temps' first wave of hits, with ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg’, his creative reign on the group ceded to Norman Whitfield.
The group would have their second change in the line-up in 1968, when David Ruffin was replaced by Dennis Edwards. From there, he would help the group record more hits such as ‘Cloud Nine’ and ‘Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World Is Today)’. After the departures of Eddie Kendricks and Paul WIlliams in 1971, the group’s line-up changed frequently.
Over the course of their career, they would have four #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, and 14 #1 songs on the R&B charts. In 1989, the group were inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and three of their songs were listed on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. They were also ranked #68 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All time. The Temptations are three-time Grammy Award winners, becoming the first Motown act to win a Grammy. As of 2021, Otis Williams is the only original member of the group still performing.