Paul Williams (July 2, 1939 August 17, 1973) was an American baritone singer and choreographer. Williams is noted for being one of the founding members and original lead singer of the Motown group The Temptations. Along with David Ruffin, Otis Williams (no relation), and fellow Alabamians Eddie Kendricks and Melvin Franklin, Williams was a member of The Temptations during the 'Classic Five' period. Personal problems and failing health forced Williams to retire in 1971. He committed suicide two years later. Paul Williams was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. He met his lifelong best friend Eddie Kendricks during their grade school years; supposedly, the two first encountered each other in a fistfight after Williams dumped a bucket of mop water on Kendricks. The two eventually became good friends; both boys shared a love of singing, and sang in their church choir together.