Melvin Franklin was born David Melvin English on October 12, 1942 in Montgomery Alabama where he grew up with his mother and stepfather. His stepfather was a minister who had him singing in the church choir by the age of three. The family moved to Detroit, Michigan when Melvin was nine. It was here that he began participating in a number of local singing groups.
David English eventually took on his mother’s maiden name and become Melvin Franklin. In March of 1961, Melvin’s group, The Elgins, signed with Motown records under the new name The Temptations. His deep vocals became the group’s signature trademark, producing a number of hits including “I Truly, Truly Believe”, “The Prophet” and “Ol’ Man River.” Melvin would many times be rewarded the yearly “Motown Spirit Award.” Melvin was uncle to another famous Motown artist, Rick James.
In the early 1980’s Melvin developed diabetes as a result of his constant use of cortisone due to rheumatoid arthritis. He was also diagnosed with a kind of flesh-eating-bacteria called necrotizing fasciitis.
On February 17, 1995, Melvin Franklin went into a coma after a series of seizures and never recovered. He died of a brain seizure on February 23, 1995 at the age of 52. Not only did Melvin Franklin leave behind a family of four children and his wife, Kimberly English, but an unforgettable and stunning music career.