Former The Temptations star Ali-Ollie Woodson has died following a battle with leukaemia. The singer, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, passed away in California on Sunday, May 30, according to Motown Alumni Association President Billy Wilson. He was 58.
Born Ollie Cregget in Detroit, Michigan, Woodson began his career as a member of Bill Pinkney's Original Drifters in the early 1970s, but he rose to fame as a member of the Motown quintet in the 1980s, joining the group as a replacement for Dennis Edwards after he was fired in 1984.
He co-wrote, co-produced and sang lead vocals for the hit single "Treat Her Like a Lady" but left the band in 1986. However, Woodson returned in 1988 for an eight-year tenure before quitting again after the release of the group's 1995 album "For Lovers Only". He reunited with the band in 2002 for a Japanese tour, stepping in for Barrington 'Bo' Henderson after he was forced to skip the trek due to visa problems.
Woodson also enjoyed success as a solo singer, fronting Ali-Ollie Woodson & the Emperors of Soul and he hit the road with Aretha Franklin in 2008. He also landed small guest roles in TV shows and movies.
Paying tribute to Woodson, Wilson tells the Associated Press, "He had this swagger about himself. He was cool. He had a coolness about himself that was really very inviting. He was just a star performer. Wonderful person. Wonderful, wonderful person. He was very kind."
Woodson is survived by his wife Juanita.