Monday, January 11, 2010

Melvin Franklin

You might not know his name, but you've no doubt found yourself jamming along to some of his songs. Melvin was the bass in the hit Motown group The Temptations.


Melvin is the fancy dancer on the left.

I couldn't find a lot about his battle with arthritis, so this paragraph from his wiki page will have to do:

In the late 1960s, Franklin was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, the symptoms of which combated with cortisone so that he could continue performing. The constant use of cortisone left his immune system open to other infections and health problems; as a result Franklin developed diabetes in the early 1980s and later contracted necrotizing fasciitis. In 1978 he was shot in the hand and in the leg while trying to stop a man from stealing his car. On February 17th, 1995, Franklin lapsed into a coma and died six days later on February 23 of a brain seizure, at the age of 52. He is survived by his wife, Kimberly English, and his four children: David Jr., Davette, Felicia, and Niqous. Franklin is entombed in an outdoor crypt at Forest Lawn - Hollywood hill Cemetery.

He was in a wheelchair at one point as well. The article above doesn't seem completely accurate, as most people don't have side effects from cortisone injections. Most likely, the immune system problems related to the arthritis were more of a culprit in Franklin's health than medicines used to treat it. Whatever the case may be, Melvin's privacy about his condition can definitely be understood.

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