Dennis Edwards, second from right, as a member of the Temptations. Other members included, from left, Otis Williams, Richard Street (rear), Melvin Franklin and Glenn Leonard. (Lennox Mclendon/AP)

Dennis Edwards, a Grammy-winning former member of the Motown group the Temptations, died Feb. 1 in Chicago. He was 74.

The cause was complications from meningitis, his wife, Brenda Edwards, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Mr. Edwards replaced founding member David Ruffin in 1968, and his soulful, passionate voice defined the group for years. A member on and off for about two decades, he was part of the Temptations lineup that released hits "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)" and the Grammy-winning "Cloud Nine" (1969) and "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" (1972).

He possessed a "voice for the ages," with great range, energy and artistry, Paul Riser, a Motown arranger and musician who worked with Mr. Edwards during the label's Detroit heyday, told the Associated Press. "That voice was just flat-out outstanding — very well defined."

Mr. Edwards was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of the Temptations in 1989.

In the 1990s, a federal judge barred him from performing under his former band's name. Otis Williams, the band's lone original member, sued Mr. Edwards for trademark infringement after he had used variations of the group's name, including "The New Temptations." He was allowed to use "The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards" and performed under that name for nearly two decades.


Mr. Edwards in 2015. (John Salangsang/John Salangsang/Invision/AP)

Mr. Edwards was born Feb. 3, 1943, in Birmingham, Ala., and lived near St. Louis with his wife.