five voices trading leads. Richard's tenor blazed on his first studio effort, "Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are)" which reached #18 on the Pop Charts and #8 on the R&B Charts.
In September of 1972, the Temptations recorded one of the most popular songs of all time. The Norman Whitfield produced "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" went to the top of the Pop Charts, winning three Grammy Awards and Two American Music Awards. This song became one of the group's calling cards throughout the world.
Their follow-up "Masterpiece" topped the R&B charts and went to #7 on the Pop Charts. These songs all feature Richard's incredible tenor, trading leads with Dennis Edwards, Damon Harris (who replaced Eddie Kendricks) and legendary bassist Melvin Franklin.
The Temptations have always been known for incredible ballads. Richard can be heard singing lead on the #2 R&B hit "Hey Girl (I Like Your Style)" and the #8 R&B hit "Heavenly".
The Temptations toured tirelessly around the world throughout the 70's, 80's and 90's. Richard had many incredible experiences, performing one of the first integrated concerts in South Africa during the height of apartheid. The Temptations also sang a special private concert for Muhammad Ali before the legendary Thrilla In Manilla fight.
Richard was the consummate showman for the Temptations in their live show, singing lead in concert on many of the Temptations most popular tunes such as, "I Wish It Would Rain", "Beauty's Only Skin Deep", "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and "My Girl".
In 1981, The Temptations current lineup of Richard, Otis Williams, Dennis Edwards, Melvin Franklin and Glenn Leonard reunited with David Ruffin and Eddie Kendrick to record a new album accompanied with a national tour. Their song "Standing On the Top", written by Rick James reached #6 on the R&B charts. The reunion was short lived, as David could not escape the ghosts of his past, and Eddie's voice was a mere shadow of it's majestic past.
In 1983, Motown celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a gala television program. Many of the artists came back to perform including, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and the Supremes and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. The highlight of the show featured the Temptations and the Four Tops battling it out, trading verses to each other's songs. Richard sang "My Girl" with Levi Stubbs, legendary vocalist of the Four Tops.
The rest of the 1980's brought more hits for the Temptations like, "Treat Her Like a Lady" and "Lady Soul". In 1988, the Temptations had the dubious honor of being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Richard continued performing with the Temptations through the early 1990s. Conflict in the group had always been prevalent. There were many disagreements over money, personnel, tour schedules and other group business. Both David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks had passed away. Richard reached his breaking point with the group when he landed in the hospital with 17 kidney stones. Unable to perform, Richard left a message with Manager Shelly Berger's office to inform the group of his condition. The message was not relayed to the group. Afterwards, leader Otis Williams called Richard angry that he did not show up for the performance. Even after Richard informed Williams of his condition, there was no apology or concern. The rest of the call was simply business, discussing their upcoming tour of Japan. At this point Richard felt it was best to move on. The family atmosphere within the group had deteriorated well past the point of being a workable situation.
During his 20 plus years in the Temptations, Richard recorded over 22 albums and sang on 5 #1 Pop or R&B Hit, 20 Top 10 Pop or R&B Hits and 45 Top 40 Pop or R&B Hits. He is a three-time Grammy Award Winner and two-time American Music Award winner.