Temptations former frontman Bruce Williamson dies at 50 after complications from coronavirus


Bruce Williamson, the lead singer of legendary band The Temptations, has died after a battle with COVID-19.

The charismatic frontman died aged 50 on Sunday night at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada, TMZ reported on Monday. 

Williamson shot to fame when he joined The Temptations in 2006, and sang with the group in concerts and on television until 2015.  

Gone too soon: Bruce Williamson, the lead singer of legendary band The Temptations, has died after a battle with COVID-19

Williamson’s son, also named Bruce, paid tribute to his father in a Facebook post.  

‘There’s no words in the world that can express how I feel right now I love you Daddy thank you for being awesome thank you for being loving thank you for being Who You Are I pray to God and we will meet again,’ he said. 

‘I love you Daddy R.I.H KING WILLIAMSON.’

The Temptations launched in Detroit in 1960 with Otis Williams, David Ruffin, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks.

Their hit songs were My Girl, The Way You Do the Things You Do (both in 1964) and Ain’t Too Proud To Beg (1966).

Williamson did not become a Temptation until 2006 as he toured with the band. 

The Compton, Los Angeles native, who grew up on gospel music, stayed with the group until 2015.

His vocals figure on the group’s more recent albums Back to Front and Still Here. 

RIP: Williamson died aged 50 on Sunday night in his home in Las Vegas, Nevada. The charismatic crooner (pictured in 2010) joined The Temptations in 2006 and performed with the group in concerts and on television until 2014

RIP: Williamson died aged 50 on Sunday night in his home in Las Vegas, Nevada. The charismatic crooner (pictured in 2010) joined The Temptations in 2006 and performed with the group in concerts and on television until 2014 

The Temptations launched in Detroit in 1960 with Otis Williams, David Ruffin, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks (pictured in 1964). Their hit songs were My Girl, The Way You Do the Things You Do (both in 1964) and Ain't Too Proud To Beg (1966)

The Temptations launched in Detroit in 1960 with Otis Williams, David Ruffin, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks (pictured in 1964). Their hit songs were My Girl, The Way You Do the Things You Do (both in 1964) and Ain’t Too Proud To Beg (1966)

Williamson is quoted as saying that he did ‘more in six months of being a Temptation than many artists have done in a lifetime’.

He described his entry into The Temptations in an interview with Las Vegas Black Image Magazine in 2013, revealing that the group’s founding member, Otis Williams, wasn’t on board with his arrival in the beginning.  

Williams said his manager Dave Wallace introduced him another Temptations member, Ron Tyson, and touted him as ‘the greatest singer he has ever heard’. 

He said that Tyson tried to recruit him for a decade, but Williams – the only Temptation to stay with the group from its founding – was against it. 

‘Williams was initially against me joining the group, because he thought I was too big and too young,’ he said. 

Ultimately Williams caved, and Williamson was given the chance to join. 

In 2013 he said: ‘After seven years as a Temptation I am still in awe.

‘I can remember the first time I performed with the group: at a millionaire’s private birthday party, on a small stage that was erected on his tennis courts.’ 

In February 2008, Williamson performed with The Temptations at the White House during a celebration of African-American history month, and shook hands with President George W Bush.

Williamson is quoted as saying that he did 'more in six months of being a Temptation than many artists have done in a lifetime'. He is pictured on stage in New York City in 2014

Williamson is quoted as saying that he did ‘more in six months of being a Temptation than many artists have done in a lifetime’. He is pictured on stage in New York City in 2014 

After leaving The Temptations in 2015, Williamson directed his energy into singing the soul music he loved as a child.  

‘I never lost the dream of wanting to be a Temptation,’ he told Chapter & Verse Network in 2016. 

‘But I didn’t want to be an imitation or one who impersonates my predecessors. I wanted to be myself.’ 

In recent years Williamson collaborated with the band BlackBerry Jam, and was working on a gospel project with the group before his death.  

He spent a considerable amount of time performing in Vegas, where he lived full time.   

Around the time of his death, Bruce was working on a gospel project with BlackBerry Jam. Pictured: Williamson shakes hands with President George W Bush in 2008

Around the time of his death, Bruce was working on a gospel project with BlackBerry Jam. Pictured: Williamson shakes hands with President George W Bush in 2008

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