This Day in Black History: Dec. 17, 1939

Lead singer of the Temptations Eddie Kendricks was born.

Posted: 12/17/2013 12:00 AM EST

Described as “moody and sensitive,” Eddie Kendricks, lead singer of the Temptations, was the ultimate '60s pin-up boy. He was born in the racially charged Southern state of Alabama on Dec. 17, 1939.  The 6-foot 1-inch falsetto went on to co-found one of the most distinguished male vocal groups of all time. 

Before setting out on a solo career, from the 1960s to 1971, he was a member of the Temptations, known for their sharp suits and killer moves on stage. Kendricks thrilled the world with a bevy of Motown classics including "Just My Imagination," "My Girl" and "Aint Too Proud to Beg."   

Like many groups, the Temptations suffered their share of triumphs and setbacks. After leaving the “Tempts,” as they were sometimes called, Kendricks’ solo career saw some successes but failed to reach the same dizzying heights as the Temptations.

Kendricks died of lung cancer in 1992.  

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(Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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