The Straits Times
Published on Feb 26, 2013

Temptations singer Otis "Damon" Harris dies at 62


WASHINGTON (AFP) - Otis "Damon" Harris, who as first tenor of the Motown ensemble The Temptations sang on such 1970s hits as Papa Was A Rollin' Stone, has died at the age of 62, US news media reported on Monday.

Prostate cancer was the cause of death, a family spokesman told the Sun newspaper in Harris's hometown of Baltimore, Maryland.

Harris joined The Temptations in 1971 when he was 21 and the group was looking for a new tenor. He stayed on for four years, during which time it won four Grammy awards - including three for Papa. He took the stage name Damon to avoid confusion with Otis Williams, who to this day remains leader of the chart-topping group and its only surviving founding member.

Later in life Harris devoted himself to the fight against cancer, establishing his own non-profit foundation to raise awareness of the illness among African-American men even as he battled it himself.