Melvin Franklin Biography

Melvin Franklin was a founding member of the American vocal group ‘The Temptations’. Check out this biography to know about his childhood, family life, achievements and fun facts about him.

Quick Facts

Birthday: October 12, 1942

Nationality: American

Famous: Black Singers Rhythm & Blues Singers

Died At Age: 52

Sun Sign: Libra

Also Known As: David Melvin English

Born in: Montgomery, Alabama

Famous as: R&B Singer

Height: 6'1" (185 cm), 6'1" Males


Spouse/Ex-: Kimberly English (m. ?–1995)

mother: Rose English

children: Davette English, David English Jr., Felicia English, LaRissa English, Niquos English

Died on: February 23, 1995

U.S. State: Alabama, African-American From Alabama

Continue Reading Below

Subscribe to Riddle Puddle

David Melvin English, known popularly as Melvin Franklin, was an American bass singer. He was a founding member of the American vocal group ‘The Temptations’. The band became popular for their choreography, distinct harmonies, as well as their colorful wardrobes. Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Franklin was into music from an early age. As a teenager, he was a member of several singing groups such as ‘The Voice Masters’. Along with a few of his classmates, he formed the group ‘The Elgins’. Later, it was renamed to ‘The Temptations’. Melvin and his friend Otis became the only founding members to never leave the group. Throughout his career, his deep vocals earned him huge fame and he was known as one of the best contemporary singers. Some of his best known works include the songs ‘I Truly, Truly Believe’, ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Ol’ Man River’. Other than singing, he also played a voice role in the animated cartoon series ‘Pole Position’. He had a role in the British adventure film ‘Sky Bandits’ as well.

Childhood & Early Life
The Temptations
  • In 1961, the group signed with Motown Records under their new name ‘The Temptations’. During his time, Melvin also acquired the nickname ‘Blue’ as he was fond of the color blue.
  • The group’s early albums include ‘The Temptations Sing Smokey’ (1965), ‘Getting Ready’ (1966), ‘The Temptations with a Lot o’ Soul’ (1967) and ‘The Temptations Wish It Would Rain’, (1968). Many of their singles were hits and topped several charts. Franklin’s song ‘I Truly, Truly Believe’, from the album ‘The Temptations Wish It Would Rain’ became hugely popular.
  • One of the most successful singles of the group was ‘The Way You Do the Things You Do’ (1964), which stood at the 11th position on the Billboard Hot 100. It also entered the charts in various countries such as France, Canada and the UK. The same year, the group released another song ‘Beauty is Only Skin Deep’, which was also a huge hit.
  • Other hit songs of the group include ‘I Wish it Would Rain’ (1967), ‘Run Away Child, Running Wild’ (1969), ‘Just My Imagination’ (1971), and ‘Masterpiece’ (1973). Melvin was usually a background singer in most of the group’s singles.
  • Throughout the years, the group continued to release several successful albums, such as ‘On Broadway’ (1969), ‘Sky’s the Limit’ (1971), ‘Masterpiece’ (1973), ‘A Song For You’, (1975), ‘Reunion’ (1982), and ‘To Be Continued’ (1986).
Recommended Lists:

Recommended Lists:

Other Works
  • Other than singing, Melvin Franklin had also worked as a voice actor. He voiced ‘Wheels’, one of the main characters, in the animated cartoon series ‘Pole Position’. The series aired in 1984 from September to December, covering thirteen episodes. The series was based on a popular video game of the same name.
  • He played a role in the 1986 British adventure film ‘Sky Bandits’. The film was about the story of two outlaws who enlist in the Royal Air Force and fly war planes known as gunbuses. The film was a commercial failure, grossing nearly $3 million on a budget of $18 million.
Awards & Achievements
  • Melvin Franklin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, as a member of The Temptations.
  • In 2013, he was posthumously inducted into the Official R&B Hall of Fame along with The Temptations. The same year, he also received the Lifetime Achievement Award which was accepted by his wife.
  • Along with The Temptations, he won three Grammy Awards.
Personal Life
  • Melvin Franklin was married to a woman named Kimberly. The couple had six children.
  • In the late 1960s, Melvin was diagnosed with arthritis. Though he fought his illness in order to continue performing, he later developed other problems as well, such as diabetes. He was also shot in the hand in the year 1978, while he was trying to prevent a man from stealing his car.
  • After a series of seizures, he eventually fell into a coma on February 17, 1995. He passed away after a few days, on 23rd February. His tomb lies at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California.
  • In 1998, a mini-series named ‘The Temptations’ was aired by NBC, which was based on the famed vocal group. Melvin was portrayed by actor DB Woodside.

See the events in life of Melvin Franklin in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Melvin Franklin Biography
- Editors,
Last Updated
- April 11, 2018
Melvin Franklin

People Also Viewed

Jennifer Lopez
Doja Cat
Demi Lovato
Ariana Grande

Vanessa Hudgens
Camila Cabello
R. Kelly