The Four Tops are a vocal quartet from Detroit, Michigan….who helped to define the city’s Motown sound of the 1960’s…..as the group’s repertoire has included soul music, R&B, disco, adult contemporary, doo-wop, jazz and show tunes. Founded as the Four Aims….comprising of lead singer Levi Stubbs, Abdul “Duke” Fakir, Renaldo “Obie” Benson and Lawrence Payton….who remained together for over four decades….while performing from 1953 until 1997 without a change in personnel.
The Four Tops were among a number of groups, including Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Marvelettes, Martha and the Vandellas, the Temptations and Diana Ross and the Supremes….who established the Motown Sound….which was heard around the world during the 1960’s.
The group was the main male vocal group for the highly successful songwriting and production team of Holland–Dozier–Holland….who crafted a stream of hit singles for Motown….which included two Billboard Hot 100 # 1 hits for the Tops….“I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” in 1965 and “Reach Out I’ll Be There” in 1966.
The Temptations are an American vocal group who released a series of successful singles and albums with Motown Records during the 1960’s and 1970’s. The group’s work with producer Norman Whitfield, beginning with the Top 10 hit single “Cloud Nine” in October 1968….which pioneered psychedelic soul, and was significant in the evolution of R&B and soul music. The band members are known for their choreography, distinct harmonies and dress style…while having sold tens of millions of albums….thus making them among the most successful groups in popular music.
Over the course of their career, the Temptations released four Billboard Hot 100 # 1 singles and fourteen R&B # 1 singles…..as their music has earned three Grammy Awards…..thus making them the first Motown recording act to win a Grammy Award for “Cloud Nine” in 1969….plus, in 2013 the Temptations received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award….while six of the Temptations including Edwards, Franklin, Kendricks, Ruffin and Otis & Paul Williams were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989….while three classic Temptations songs, “My Girl”, “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)” and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” are among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The Temptations were ranked at # 68 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of all time.