The lead vocalist on classic hits "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," "Take a Look Around" and "Masterpiece,” Harris idolized the Temptations as a boy before getting a chance to audition for the band when original lead singer Eddie Kendricks left in 1971. He won the spot and joined his idols, changing his stage name to Damon with respect to founding Temptations member Otis Williams.
Harris had previously led a group of high school friends in a Temptations cover band named the Young Tempts, who were signed as the Young Vandals to the Isley Brothers’ T-Neck record label.
After winning three Grammy Awards with the Temptations between 1971 and 1975, Harris left his spot as first tenor to reunite with his high school friends. Renamed as Impact, the group released two funk albums, Impact and The Pac Is Back, and hit the charts with their 1976 single “Give a Broken Heart a Break.”
Harris went on to release a solo album, 1978’s Silk, before retiring from the music industry to return to college.
Harris’ family says his cancer was in remission until three years ago. He entered the hospital in November of 2012 and stayed until last week when he was transferred to Joseph Richey Hospice in Seton Hill where he died.
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(Photo: Gilles Petard/Redferns)