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Dennis Edwards’ 10 Biggest Billboard Hot 100 Hits With The Temptations

Dennis Edwards, who died at age 74 on Friday (Feb. 2), laid his claim to fame as lead singer for The Temptations from 1968 to 1977. Here are his 10 biggest Hot 100 hits during his tenure with the…

As previously reported, singer Dennis Edwards died at age 74 on Friday (Feb. 2) at his home in Chicago.

In 1968, Edwards laid his claim to fame when he took over lead vocals for The Temptations after previous frontman David Ruffin fell out of favor with the group. The switch came at a pivotal time for the Motown heavyweights, who were riding a streak of 10 consecutive top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 since 1966, with five of those tunes entering the top 10.

Edwards delivered and The Temptations continued their winning ways, landing 27 Hot 100 entries during the main Edwards era of late 1968 through 1977. Nine of those titles reached the top 10, with three – “I Can’t Get Next to You,” “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)” and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” – becoming the group’s second, third and fourth No. 1 hits, respectively.


After breaking with The Temptations in 1977, Edwards embarked on a solo career at Motown Records. His first release, 1984’s Don’t Look Any Further, reached No. 2 on the Black LPs chart (today’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums), while its title track reached the equivalent position on the Black Singles ranking (today’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs). A follow-up song, “(You’re My) Aphrodisiac,” climbed to No. 15 on Black Singles. Edwards returned with another LP the following year, Coolin’ Out, which reached No. 36 on the Black LPs chart. Its title track marked his last solo hit on the Black Singles chart, hitting No. 23.

Edwards rejoined The Temptations in the early 1980s and was inducted as a member of the group into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. Thanks to the act’s immense success on Billboard’s flagship R&B songs and albums charts, The Temptations were named the No. 1 act on the Greatest of All Time R&B/Hip-Hop Artists honor roll in 2017.

In honor of Edwards’ work with The Temptations, here are his 10 biggest Hot 100 hits during his tenure with the group.

1. “I Can’t Get Next to You”
Peak Position: No. 1 (two weeks)
Peak Date: Oct. 18, 1969

2. “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)”
Peak Position: No. 1 (two weeks)
Peak Date: April 3, 1971

3. “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World Is Today)”
Peak Position: No. 3
Peak Date: June 27, 1970

4. “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” – with Diana Ross and The Supremes
Peak Position: No. 2
Peak Date: Jan. 11, 1969

5. “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”
Peak Position: No. 1 (one week)
Peak Date: Dec. 2, 1972

6. “Run Away Child, Running Wild”
Peak Position: No. 6
Peak Date: March 29, 1969

7. “Masterpiece”
Peak Position: No. 7
Peak Date: April 28, 1973

8. “Cloud Nine”
Peak Position: No. 6
Peak Date: Jan. 4, 1969

9. “Psychedelic Shack”
Peak Position: No. 7
Peak Date: Feb. 28, 1970

10. “Shakey Ground”
Peak Position: No. 26
Peak Date: June 7, 1975

Dennis Edwards’ biggest Billboard Hot 100 hits with The Temptations chart is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at lower ranks earning lesser values. Due to changes in chart methodology over the years, certain eras are weighted to account for different chart turnover rates over various periods.