Bruce Williamson, the critically acclaimed former lead singer of The Temptations, has passed away aged 49.
The singer, according to TMZ, died on Sunday night at his home in Las Vegas after losing his battle with COVID-19. While reports claim that Williamson lost his life to the virus, the family are yet to confirm specific details about his death but it is believed that the singer contracted coronavirus after having recovered from gall bladder surgery.
“There’s no words in the world that can express how I feel right now,” Bruce, Williamson’s son wrote on Facebook. “I love you Daddy thank you for being awesome thank you for being loving thank you for being Who You Are I pray to God and we will meet again.”
He added: “Love you Daddy R.I.H KING WILLIAMSON.”
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Williamson became infatuated with gospel music from a young age and began singing in church after becoming inspired by his cousin who often took the lead vocal roles in the choir. After honing his skills in church, Williamson began experimenting in the world of R&B and earned a name for himself on the LA strip by fronting the popular funk band BlackBerry Jam.
Having been a lifelong fan of iconic Motown Records outfit The Temptations, Williamson was handed his dream position of fronting the group after his manager, Dave Wallace, introduced him to the famed Temptations vocalist Ron Tyson. After being guided through the ropes by Tyson, Williamson was later invited to join the band: “Otis Williams was initially against me joining the group, because he thought I was too big and too young,” Williamson later explained but, thankfully, he was eventually accepted.
After working prolifically with the band for over 20 years, Williamson left the Temptations in 2015 amid issues with his health as he planned to begin work on his personal gospel album. Reflecting on his time in the band, the singer once said he had done “more in six months of being a Temptation than many artists have done in a lifetime.”