(Detroit Free Press) Richard Street, who served with the Temptations during the group's prolific second heyday in the 1970s and '80s, died early Wednesday morning in Las Vegas of a pulmonary embolism. He was 70.
Street, a Detroit native, formally joined the Tempts in 1971 after a long association with the group, having performed with Otis Williams and Melvin Franklin in the '50s vocal group the Distants.
Street's death follows the Feb. 18 passing of Damon Harris, who joined the Temptations simultaneously with Street and was with the group for four years.
Before joining the Temptations, Street wore several hats at Motown Records, working in the label's quality control department, recording with his group the Monitors and periodically filling in for ailing Tempts baritone Paul Williams.
He became a full-time Temptation upon Paul Williams' departure, and was part of the Grammy-winning lineup that scored big on the pop charts with hits such as Papa Was a Rollin' Stone (1972) and Masterpiece (1973).
The Temptations racked up more than four dozen Top 40 hits on Billboard's R&B chart during Street's tenure with the group, which ran through 1993, when he left amid alleged personal tensions with Otis Williams.
"He had a very colorful career," said ex-wife Cal Gill Street of the Velvelettes. "It pleases me to say he was with the group during its very productive years."
The two Motowners wed in 1969 and were divorced in 1983. They briefly left Detroit in the mid-1970s to live in Bel Air, Calif., before returning to Michigan. Their son, Richard Street Jr., lives in Kalamazoo.
Street, who had been ill during the past year, was close to completing a book about his life and musical career, said friend Jeanne Sorenson.
Street is survived by his wife, Cynthia Street of Las Vegas, along with two sons and two daughters.
Funeral information has not been set.
By Brian McCollum, Detroit Free Pres