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Paul Williams was a baritone singer, choreographer, and one of the founding members of the Motown Records group The Temptations. After the group hit off in 1964 with the song “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” more of their music became popular, including “My Girl” and “(I Know) I’m Losing You.”
Hidden from the public, Williams suffered from sickle-cell disease and alcohol addiction. Alongside his weakening health, the singer suffered great financial problems in 1969.
With all his earnings and royalty shares as a member of The Temptations, Paul had an estimated net worth of over $500 thousand before he died. Shortly after releasing one of his last recordings, “Feel Like Givin’ Up,” he was found dead in Detroit, a gun close by his body on August 17, 1973, and it was ruled a suicide.
Paul Williams Wiki/Biography
Born on July 2, 1939, with a cancer zodiac, Paul Williams would have been 82 years old as of 2023. His parents, Sophia and Rufus Williams, a religious singer in Ensley, raised him in the large Ensley community of Birmingham, Alabama.
He was also religious and sang in their church choir with Eddie Kendricks, his former bandmate. During his teenage years, Williams started performing in a group known as The Cavaliers with dreams of making it big in the music industry.
|Full Name/Real Name||Paul Williams|
|Nickname/Stage Name||Paul Williams|
|Birthday||July 2, 1939|
|Birth Place||Birmingham, Alabama|
|Age (How Old)||34 at the time of death|
|Currently Live In||—|
|Debut||1961 under Motown Label|
|Profession||Singer and Choreographer|
|Social Media Accounts||—–|
Wife, Children & Relationships
Paul Williams met and married Mary Agnes Williams, and they had five children: Kenneth, Mary, Paula, Sarita, and Paul Jr. Williams.
However, in 1965, people speculated that Paul had an affair with Winnie Brown, a hair stylist for The Supremes and a relative of The Supremes member Florence Ballard. Years after, Mary Agnes filed a divorce from the singer, which was never approved, as Paul died in 1973.
Paul also had three more children with three girlfriends before he died. Their names are Paul Williams Lucas, Derrick Vinyard, and Anthony Johnson. His brother, Johny Williams, even called him a breeder.
After his death, the Williams family fought years in court for Motown royalties and agreed to split the shares. Paula was the one to hand them out to her siblings.
On the other hand, Kenneth, 11 at the time of Paul’s death, turned rebellious and was kicked out of every school. At the age of 27, he was imprisoned for strangling his great-aunt to death while high on Cocaine. When Kenneth exited prison, he discovered that Paula had spent all his shares, so he filed a lawsuit against his sister.
|Father Name||Rufus Williams|
|Mother Name||Sophia Williams|
|Brother Name||Johnny Williams|
|Girlfriend||Mary Agnes Williams (Wife)
Winnie Brown (Mistress)
|Wife Name||Mary Agnes Williams|
|Children||Kenneth, Mary, Paula, Sarita, and Paul Jr. Williams. (Mary)
Paul Williams Lucas, Anthony Johnson, and Derrick Vinyard (Three unnamed girlfriends)
Paul Williams was a talented man who was idolized and adorned by many during his time. Besides his exceptional vocals and charming smile, he was seen as a fine black man with an average height of 5’7ft.
He sported a nice body build. Even just from the picture, you can sense his oozing confidence as a performer.
On stage this Paul’s appearance is captivating. He is one of the many Black-American singers that left a lasting impact on audiences.
In 1961, the group signed a record deal under Motown Records, but The Temptations waited 3 years before one of their singles entered the Billboard Top 20. And even though Williams was the group’s lead singer during its early years, he was disregarded by David Ruffin and Eddie Kendrick, who both sang lead on The Temptations’ hit singles in 1965.
Williams was often overlooked as a lead singer, even on their B-sides and album tracks. But eventually, he was given lead vocals in some of their songs. He was also regarded as the Temptations’ best dancer, and he choreographed routines for his group and The Supremes before Cholly Atkins took it away from him.
Williams’ notable leads on Temptations songs include “Just Another Lonely Night”, “Don’t look back”, and a cover of their hit single, “Hey Girl”. One of his popular live performances was from the television special TCB on NBC where he sang “For Once in My Life”.
In 1965, Williams began an affair with The Supremes’ hairstylist, Winnie Brown, and 4 years later, the two opened a celeb fashion shop in Detroit. However, the business didn’t go well and Williams found himself owing over $80,000 in taxes.
Since Williams suffered from sickle-cell anemia and alcohol addiction on tour, his condition got worse to the point that he at times could not perform, and the other four Temptations had to alternate between confiscating his alcohol stashes and keeping oxygen tanks throughout the tour.
Since Williams’ vocals changed due to his respiratory illness and alcoholism, the Temptations had no choice but to replace him. Richard Street, the then-lead singer of The Monitors, was hired to take all of Williams’ parts from backstage behind a curtain.
In April 1971, Williams finally went to a doctor and discovered a spot on his liver, which led him to finally leave the group. In support of Williams’ recovery, he was still paid a one-fifth share of the group’s royalties and kept on the payroll for two consecutive years.
Cause Of Death
Thousands of fans were shocked at the news of Paul William’s passing on August 17, 1973. At the age of 34, Williams was found dead in a car at an alley in Detriot, Michigan after leaving the house of his girlfriend at the time. A gun was found near his body.
Otis Williams told the public that Williams had shared his suicidal thoughts with him and Melvin Franklin a few months before his death. Soon after, authorities ruled his death as a suicide.
His former bandmates attended the funeral that was held on August 24. Williams’ grave is at Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery, Clinton Township, Macomb County, Michigan.
To this day, the Williams family refuses to accept the ruling as they suspect foul play in Paul Williams’ death.