Bruce Williamson Jr., the former lead singer of the fabled group, The Temptations, has died of COVID-19 at the age of 49.
Williamson, who was not an original member of the Motown group, died on Sunday at his home in Las Vegas, TMZ reports. He’d been battling coronavirus.
His son paid tribute to his late father on social media.
“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,” Bruce Alan Williamson Jr. wrote.
“I love you Daddy R.I.H KING WILLIAMSON.”
Williamson joined The Temptations in 2006 and performed with the group until 2015, singing lead on their “Back to the Front,” and “Still Here,” albums. He was also a part of the group when President George W. Bush invited them to perform at the White House for a celebration of Black History Month in February 2008.
In a 2013 profile for Las Vegas Black Image Magazine, he credited his background in the church for creating the foundation for him to become a member of the legendary act known for hits such as “My Girl,” “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” and “Get Ready.”
“After seven years as a Temptation I am still in awe, and 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,” Williamson said at the time.
Williamson also noted that founding member Otis Williams was not initially on board with him joining the group because he was “too big and too young.” He eventually won Williams over.
“It was a beautiful house; Stevie Wonder’s house was right next door. There was a limited amount of room on the stage, and I could not play to the crowd as Otis wanted me to. So when we got off the stage, Otis was saying, ‘You have to work the crowd,’ and I tried to interrupt to tell him why I was having difficulties on the small stage,” he said at the time.
“But soon I got the hint to just listen to his criticism. The next time we performed on stage together, I had enough room to work the crowd and the audience went crazy. When we went off stage Otis said, ‘That’s what I am talking about!’ and it’s been smooth sailing ever since.”
According to People, Williamson was scheduled to take part in a Sept. 12 pay per view concert.
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