Richard Street, a 22-year member of the Temptations, died on February 27th in Las Vegas of a pulmonary embolism. Street, who battled sole surviving Temps co-founder Otis Williams over the right to use the name, is the second former Temps member to die this month. Street's good friend -- and occasional touring partner -- Otis "Damon" Harris died on February 18th at age 62 following a 14-year fight with prostate cancer. Both Street and Harris were featured on such '70s' Temps classics as 1971's "Superstar (Remember Who You Are)," 1972's "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone," and 1973's "Masterpiece." Street was a member of the group from 1971 to 1993.
Street's wife, Cindy Street spoke about the losses of both her husband and Harris, telling CNN: "He was really fighting for his life. He's a fighter. They're dancing up there in heaven, him and Damon. I'm in disbelief right now."
A while back Otis Williams shed some light on his and Richard Street's legal skirmishes, and explained that Street was legally barred from promoting his act as "The Temptations": "No, he's not allowed to, y'know, we've had to take him to court. 'Cause, he signed a piece of paper that once he left the Temps he wouldn't do that, and we've been able to catch him on that."
Prior to joining the Temps, Street was the lead singer in the pre-Temps group, Otis Williams & The Distants, which also included co-founding Temps Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, and early member Elbridge "Al" Bryant.
Before becoming a full-time member of the Temps, as co-founder Paul Williams' health declined due to his ongoing battles with booze and sickle-cell disease, Street actually sang off-stage as Williams lip-synced to Street's live vocals. Street officially replaced Williams in 1971.
Photo Courtesy of OtisWilliams.net