Edward James Kendrick (December 17, 1939 – October 5, 1992), best known by the stage name Eddie Kendricks, was an American singer and songwriter. Noted for his distinctive falsetto singing style, Kendricks co-founded the Motown singing group The Temptations, and was one of their lead singers from 1960 until 1971. His was the lead voice on such famous songs as “The Way You Do the Things You Do”, “Get Ready”, and “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)”. As a solo artist, Kendricks recorded several hits of his own during the 1970s, including the number-one single “Keep on Truckin’.”
In late 1991, Kendricks, by now living in his native Birmingham, Alabama, underwent surgery to have one of his lungs removed in hopes of preventing the spread of cancer. He believed the disease was caused by his 30 years of smoking. He continued to tour through the summer of 1992, when he fell ill again and was hospitalized. Kendricks died of lung cancer at Baptist Medical Center-Princeton in Birmingham on October 5, 1992 at age 52. He was survived by his three children: Parris, Aika, and Paul Kendricks. Funeral services were held at the First Baptist Church in Ensley, Alabama. He was buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama.
Friends and fans paid tribute to Kendricks during four concerts held at the Strand in Los Angeles on October 16 and October 17, 1992. Performers including Bobby Womack, Chaka Khan, Mary Wilson, and Vesta Williams sang Temptations songs as well as some of their own.