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The Temptations’ Otis Williams, Motown group’s last surviving original member, turns 80 on Saturday

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Otis Williams, the last surviving original member of The Temptations, celebrates his 80th birthday this Saturday.

Williams continues to perform with the legendary Motown quintet, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, and he tells ABC Audio, “I’m still enjoying it, 60 years later. Turning 80, and still having fun.”

As for the enduring popularity of his group’s music, Otis says, “We never [would’ve] imagined that people would still be loving The Temptations 60 years later, because…show business can be very fickle…I’m very happy that we’ve had long stalwart fans to enjoy us.”

The Temptations have had so many classic songs, but Williams says his all-time favorite is one of their earliest and biggest hits, the 1964 chart-topper “My Girl,” which was co-written by Smokey Robinson.

Otis says that when Smokey first brought “My Girl” to The Temptations, Otis didn’t realize what a classic it was.

Williams says that changed “when the strings and horns were added to such a wonderful melody and the structure of the song, [which] gave it a whole ‘nother kind of daylight.

Otis tells ABC Audio that he’s glad that the group has been able to start playing concerts again after a 16-month layoff because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and he’s also excited that the Broadway musical based of the group’s story and music, Ain’t Too Proud, has reopened.

Williams says he’ll celebrate his 80th birthday in New York City, and he and The Temptations will be going to a performance of Ain’t Too Proud that day.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Otis will take part in a virtual Q&A event at New York’s City College Center for the Arts that will be streamed live for free at 7:30 p.m. ET. Visit CityCollegeCenterfortheArts.org for more details.

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