Damon Harris of The Temptations Dead at Age 62
Otis “Damon” Harris, of the venerable Motown group The Temptations has died. He was 62-years-old.
According to his daughter Erica Harris Outlaw, the singer was suffering with prostate cancer for the last 14 years, but recently he’d really been struggling. He officially passed away on Feb. 18 at Joseph Richey Hospice in Baltimore, MD.
“He was in great pain for the last several months,” she told CNN. “He was the kind of dad where you wanted the best for him. We’re going to really miss him. We miss him already.”
Harris’ stint with the Temps was distinguished, if not short.
He joined the group in 1971, when he replaced Eddie Kendricks, whose voice graced many of the group’s biggest hits (“The Way You Do The Things You Do”; “Just My Imagination”).
He’d reportedly grown up trying to emulate Kendricks’ falsetto and along with three high school friends formed The Young Tempts, a Temptations tribute group. But Motown Records wasn’t keen on their usage of the name and they were forced to change it to The Young Vandals.
In the early 70s The Temptations were going through lineup changes, looking to find a suitable replacement for Kendricks. Persuaded by a friend, Harris auditioned for the group in Washington, D.C., and despite being only 20-years-old, was accepted.
He came to be known as Damon instead of Otis, as the group already had Otis Williams as its leader.
Harris’ voice can be prominently heard on The Temptations’ epic 1972 smash “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.”
He was ousted from the group in 1975 and in later years toured with his own version of the Temps dubbed The Temptations Review Starring Damon Harris.
Watch The Temptations “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” Video