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Ali-Ollie Woodson ( 1951 - 2010 )  Category ( Singers ) [suggest a correction]
 

Anyone old enough to remember the 70s-80s music of the singing group, the Temptations, is likely reminded of warm, harmonizing songs of love and loss. One of the group's voices, during the 1980s, was that of singer, dancer, keyboardist, bassist, drummer, composer, arranger, and sometimes actor, Ali-Ollie Woodson.

He was born in Detroit. He was carried to church from a very early age, and began singing in the choir at the tender age of four. Like many performers in the R&B and soul genres, Woodson learned all about close harmonizing at church. When he was seven years old he entered a talent show and took first prize. That, and many subsequent wins and accolades inspired him to continue his love of singing and performing.

Of course, a singing teenager living in Detroit during the 1960s allowed for a multitude of inspirations. This was the great age of Motown Records, and the city resounded with the melodies and harmonies of what are now considered classic performers, including Smokey Robinson, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, and many others. Young Woodson made an impression with some of the biggest names in the business, and he was invited to sing with Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, The Ojays, Al Green, the Four Tops, and even the "Godfather of Soul," James Brown. Later, he was instrumental in the formation and development of the Temptations, carving a style and approach that is distinctive and memorable.

His lead singing set a high standard for other performers and those who followed him once he left the group. At the height of his singing career, he was considered to be one of the powerhouses of the R&B industry. After he left the Temptations to pursue a solo career, he released a number of his own albums. Woodson traveled frequently on international tours, both when he was with the Temptations and during his solo career.

In 2007, while testifying to his faith on a televised church service, Woodson announced he had been diagnosed with throat cancer years before, but had recovered and survived. However, he stated at the time, the cancer returned at two year intervals, over a four-year period. Then, in 2008 he was diagnosed with leukemia. Once again, he did not let the disease get the better of him, and continued to tour, record, write, and make music. He fought cancer bravely once again, but succumbed to the disease in May 2010. Woodson was married to Juanita Woodson. The couple had two children, Aj and Aliah Woodson.


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