By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent
Otis Williams, the founding and only surviving original member of the legendary super-group, The Temptations, joined BlackPressUSA for an exclusive live interview to discuss music and social change.
Named the No. 1 R&B Artists of All-Time with hits like “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” The Temptations have sold tens of millions of albums, and they’ve earned four Grammy Awards.
The group has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and have earned stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Apollo Theater’s Walk of Fame.
Williams’ journey from Texarkana, Texas to Motown and global superstardom, is chronicled in his acclaimed autobiography, “Temptations,” written with The New York Times best-selling author Patricia Romanowski, as well as “The Temptations,” an Emmy Award-Winning television mini-series.
Williams is unlike any other musical artist in American culture.
The cultural significance of his life achievements, along with his success musical career and longevity have ensured his status as an icon for millions of fans all over the world.
“I have to give accolades to the late great Paul Williams. He started our choreography,” Williams shared during the live interview. Cheryl Smith, publisher of the Texas Metro News and I Messenger Media, co-hosted the interview. Williams also graciously answered questions from the livestream’s viewers.
“Smokey Robinson got us started with ‘The Way You Do the Things You Do.’ He looked at us and said, ‘you guys are fantastic. I love what you do on stage,’” Williams recalled.
His story is also chronicled in the Tony Award-Winning Broadway Musical, “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.” Williams revealed that he isn’t among the millions who’ve watched the television min-series. “Too emotional,” Williams stated, noting that Robinson has encouraged him to “Break out the Kleenex and watch it.”
This year, The Temptations plan to record and release a new album, and, in 2021, the group will mark its 60th anniversary with a tour and other celebrations.
“As I look back in the rear-view mirror of my life, Motown was no happenstance,” Williams stated about the famed record label responsible for the Temptations, Robinson, Marvin Gaye, and so many others.
“Motown sent its artists to school. They schooled us about being artists in show business. They took on another kind of dimension.”