Otis “Damon” Harris, a former member of the Temptations, died at age 62 on Monday (February 18), according to the Baltimore Sun. The singer passed away at Baltimore’s Joseph Richey Hospice following a 14-year battle with prostate cancer which a family spokeman told the Sun had greatly worsened last summer.
Born in 1950, Harris joined Motown hitmakers The Temptations at age 21 in 1971 after a stint in a Temptations cover band called the Young Tempts with high school friends. The young musician, who sang lead on the Temptations’ Grammy-winning Hot 100 No. 1 hit “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” in 1972, was in the group until 1975.
Harris went on to release two albums with his childhood friends in the group Impact, which produced the singles “Happy Man” and “Give A Broken Heart A Break.” Harris followed his time in Impact with a solo album, 1978’s “Silk,” before choosing to leave the music industry.
During his later years, he was an activist for the group Stand Up to Cancer and his own Damon Harris Cancer Foundation, encouraging men to receive regular cancer screenings, as he himself had delayed in seeing a doctor prior to his cancer diagnosis.