Newswire: R.I.P. Rod Temperton, “Thriller” songwriter

As reported by the BBC, songwriter Rod Temperton has died, following what a statement from Warner/Chappell Music group calls “a brief aggressive battle with cancer.” Temperton was the writer behind a number of huge hits over the years, most notably Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You” and the massively popular “Thriller.” Temperton was 66.

Born in England in 1949, Temperton was pretty much destined to be a musician from birth. The BBC quotes him as saying that his father “wasn’t the kind of person who would read you a story before you went off to sleep,” as he’d “put a transistor radio in the crib” instead. Temperton said that he would fall asleep listening to music, and he believed that “somehow that had an influence.” By the ‘70s, Temperton had joined up with a disco band called Heatwave, playing keyboard and writing some of its songs—including …

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