Paul Williams

Singer + Choreographer
Born Jul 2, 1939

Paul Williams was an American baritone singer and choreographer. Williams is noted for being one of the founding members and original lead singer of the Motown group The Temptations. Along with David Ruffin, Otis Williams (no relation), and fellow Alabamians Eddie Kendricks and Melvin Franklin, Williams was a member of The Temptations during the "Classic Five" period. Personal problems and failing health forced Williams to retire in 1971.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Paul Williams.


1939 Birth Born on July 2, 1939.


1957 18 Years Old In 1957, Williams, Kendricks, and Osbourne left Birmingham to start careers, leaving Waller behind. … Read More


1961 22 Years Old Paul Williams and Kendricks joined Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, and Elbridge Bryant to form The Elgins, who signed to the local Motown label in 1961, after first changing their name to The Temptations.
1964 25 Years Old Although the group now had a record deal, Paul Williams and his bandmates endured a long series of failed singles before finally hitting the Billboard Top 20 in 1964 with "The Way You Do the Things You Do." … Read More
1965 26 Years Old Williams suffered from sickle-cell anemia, which frequently wreaked havoc on his physical health. In 1965, Williams began an affair with Winnie Brown, hair stylist for The Supremes and a relative of Supremes member Florence Ballard. … Read More
1968 29 Years Old 1 More Event
Williams also sang lead with Dennis Edwards, who joined in 1968, on Motown’s first Grammy Award-Winner “Cloud Nine”.


1969 30 Years Old In the spring of 1969, Williams and Brown opened a celebrity fashion boutique in downtown Detroit. … Read More
1971 32 Years Old In April 1971, Williams was finally persuaded to go see a doctor. … Read More
By early 1973, Williams made his return to Motown's Hitsville USA recording studios, and began working on solo material. … Read More
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