On Oct. 5, 1992, Eddie Kendricks died of lung cancer at the age of 52. The previous year, Kendricks was diagnosed with lung cancer and underwent surgery in hopes of preventing its spread. Kendricks continued to tour through the summer of 1992, until he became ill again and was hospitalized in Birmingham, Alabama. He was survived by his three children and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery.
Singer-songwriter Kendricks was a co-founded of Motown singing group The Temptations. As one of the group’s lead singers, he took the lead on some of its most famous songs, such as “The Way You Do the Things You Do” and “Get Ready.” Kendrick also recorded several hit songs as a solo artist during the 1970s. In 1978, Kendricks left Motown and signed away the rights to his royalties. He moved to Arista Records and later to Atlantic Records. During this time he gradually lost his voice as a result of chain smoking.
In 1982, when he briefly re-joined The Temptations for a reunion tour, one band member claimed Kendricks had difficulty with his vocals in recording sessions. Kendricks later went to a physician where he discovered he had cancer in one lung; he reportedly refused to undergo chemotherapy at the time.