Song writer Rod Temperton dies at 66

Cleethorpes' most famous musical son, he wrote hit records for Michael Jackson, George Benson and worked with jazz stars including Quincy Jones, Bob James and Herbie Hancock.

Rod Temperton, one of the most successful British songwriters of all time, has died aged 66 following a short battle with cancer. Temperton wrote some of Michael Jackson’s biggest hits including 'Off the Wall,' 'Rock With You,' and 'Thriller, – which remains the biggest selling album of all time.

Temperton’s catalogue also includes hit songs performed by Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, The Brothers Johnson and George Benson and compositions for Herbie Hancock, Bob James and Quincy Jones, with whom he wrote the breakthrough solo album, 'The Dude.' 

Temperton’s first break came as co-founder and keyboardist of the pioneering funk band Heatwave, for whom he wrote a string of platinum singles. It was during his days with Heatwave that he came to the attention of Quincy Jones who was deeply impressed with the band's musicality. Quincy invited Rod Temperton to write songs for Rufus and Chaka Khan and Michael Jackson whilst he was busy on a project in New York but he almost turned it down. When they met there was an instant affinity and their association went on to produce some of the most famous songs ever made.

Temperton recently watched on as the Quincy Jones conducted The Metropole Orkest at his own tribute Prom at the Royal Albert Hall and Quincy paid tribute to him. News of his death was announced by the CEO of Warner/Chappell music, who signed Temperton in the summer. Social media has been trending with emotional tributes.

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