CHICAGO (WWJ/AP) – Police are now investigating the death of Temptations singer Dennis Edwards, who died last week at a Chicago hospital.
Edwards’ wife Brenda said that he died Thursday from meningitis complications. However, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office says Edwards’ cause of death is pending.
Last month, an agency that investigates elder abuse claims filed an emergency protection order stating the 74-year-old Edwards suffered from neglect and abuse in his final weeks at the hands of his wife.
In a statement to the Detroit News, Brenda Edwards disputed those accusations.
“I loved Dennis and we were married for 18 years. I would have never done anything to harm him,” she told the newspaper, through a publicist. “These allegations are false and defamatory and will be proven as such. Until this is all over, I have no further comment.”
Edwards replaced Temptations founding member David Ruffin in 1968, and his soulful, passionate voice defined the group for years. A member on and off for about two decades, he was part of the lineup that released hits “Ball of Confusion (That’s What The World Is Today),” ”Cloud Nine” and the chart-topping “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone.”
Edwards was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of The Temptations in 1989.
In the 1990s, a federal judge barred him from performing under his former band’s name. Otis Williams, the band’s lone original member, sued Edwards for trademark infringement after he had used variations that included “The New Temptations.” He was allowed to use “The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards,” and performed under that name for nearly two decades, according to Rosiland Triche Roberts, his longtime booking agent.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Edwards lived near St. Louis with his wife, Brenda. He would have turned 75 last Saturday.
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