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Rod Temperton

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Leader of the disco-fusion band Heatwave and an important producer/arranger/keyboardist for years afterward, Rod Temperton wrote hits, including "Always and Forever," "Boogie Nights," "Baby Come to Me," "Groove Line," and "The Lady in My Life." As part of Quincy Jones' studio masters, he wrote the title song from Michael Jackson's Thriller. His chart career began in the mid-'70s when Keith and Johnny Wilder recruited him to collaborate on Too Hot to Handle, their 1976 debut album as Heatwave. Two hits, "Boogie Nights" and "Always and Forever," stormed the R&B charts. Even while he continued in Heatwave during the late '70s and early '80s, Temperton worked on many outside projects (the Brothers Johnson, Patti Austin, Herbie Hancock, Rufus & Chaka Khan) often overseen by Jones. For Jackson's solo breakout on 1979's Off the Wall, he wrote two songs ("Rock With You" and the title song) and worked on the arrangements. Three years later, Temperton wrote "Baby Be Mine," "Lady in My Life," and the title song for the 1982 commercial blockbuster Thriller. He also appeared on many of Jones' solo albums: Back on the Block, Q's Jook Joint, and From Q With Love. ~ John Bush