Thriller songwriter Rod Temperton dies aged 66: Which other pop hits did he write?

Rod Temperton, who has passed away following a brief battle with cancer aged 66, was the songwriter behind Thriller and Rock With You, some of the late Michael Jackson's greatest hits.
Rod Temperton, who has passed away following a brief battle with cancer aged 66, was the songwriter behind Thriller and Rock With You, some of the late Michael Jackson's greatest hits.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM BBC.COM VIDEO

Rod Temperton, who has passed away following a brief battle with cancer aged 66, was the songwriter behind Thriller and Rock With You, some of the late Michael Jackson's greatest hits.

Born in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, England, Temperton initially entered ine music industry as the keyboardist and main songwriter for a funk band in the 1970s called Heatwave.

He was a man who kept a low profile though, for most of his career and shunned publicity.

Temperton has claimed in a 2006 interview with BBC radio that his journey with music began when he was regularly "lulled to sleep" as an infant, by the music from a transistor radio placed in his crib.

 

His talent contributed to the success of many other artists like Mariah Carey, George Benson and Aretha Franklin. His creativity and modesty left a deep impact on the people he has worked with, many of whom were American musicians.

The BBC reported how he once summed up his approach to songwriting: "The first criteria is write something you love first, and once you feel those hairs standing up on the back of your hand, you can go to the world."

Here are 10 of his best hits.

1. Baby, Come To Me - Patti Austin (featuring James Ingram), 1983

2. Rock With You - Michael Jackson, 1980

3. Boogie Nights - Heatwave, 1977

4. Hey Lover -LL Cool J, 1995

5. Thriller - Michael Jackson, 1984

6. Give Me the Night - George Benson, 1980

7. Sweet Freedom - Michael McDonald, 1986

8. The Groove Line - Heatwave, 1978

9. Stomp! - The Brothers Johnson, 1980

10. Off the Wall - Michael Jackson, 1980