The songwriter behind Michael Jackson’s greatest hit Thriller, Rod Temperton, fought a long battle with cancer and passed away at the age of 66 in London. The talented composer wrote Jackson’s classics including Rock With You, Thriller, Baby Be Mine, and The Lady in My Life. In fact, the legendary writer has been responsible for many hits that we have ever heard from MJ’s era.
Reports reveal that the sad news was announced by Jon Platt, Chairman & CEO of Warner/Chappell. He also said that the death had taken place last week. Ever since the news has been announced, tributes have started pouring in. One of the fans wrote on Twitter: “Rest In Peace Rod Temperton. The ‘Thriller’ songwriter has passed away after a battle with cancer. Our thoughts go out to his family.”
“His family is devastated and request total privacy at this, the saddest of sad times,” Platt added.
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Those paying tribute include Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers, who tweeted: “Your genius gave us a funkier world!”. He also posted a picture of Temperton won a Grammy Award in 1990 for his work on Birdland, from Quincy Jones’s album Back on the Block. He was nominated for two Oscars in 1986 for his work with Jones on the soundtrack for The Color Purple.
Check out some of the tributes stars posted on Twitter.
We are very saddened to hear that Rod Temperton, the songwriter of Thriller and many other compositions for… http://t.co/usdVdPmzLV
— Thriller Live (@ThrillerLive) October 5, 2016
Sad to hear about the passing of Rod Temperton, a great British songwriter who gave us so much great music. R.I.P
— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) October 5, 2016
— NME (@NME) October 5, 2016
Heard the news that Rod Temperton has passed away.Absolutely brilliant songwriter and musician.Michael Jackson/George Benson &Heatwave rip
— Trevor Nelson (@DJTrevorNelson) October 5, 2016
Not just MJ, the songwriter has written songs for huge artists including Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, The Brothers Johnson, George Benson, and Quincy Jones. His other credits include Boogie Nights, Off the Wall, Give Me the Night, Sweet Freedom and Always and Forever. He was considered one of the most important songwriters and composers in contemporary pop.