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Rod Temperton, ‘Thriller’ Songwriter, Dies at 66

He also wrote Michael Jackson’s hits ”Rock With You“ and ”Off The Wall“

Rod Temperton, the songwriter best known for writing Michael Jackson’s hits “Thriller” and “Rock With You,” has died. He was 66.

Jon Platt, the chairman and CEO of Warner/Chappell, told BBC that Temperton died in London last week after “a brief aggressive battle with cancer.”

Temperton’s other writing credits include Jackson’s “Off The Wall” and “Baby Be Mine,” as well as “Boogie Nights” for his band Heatwave.

“His family is devastated and request total privacy at this, the saddest of sad times,” Platt added.

Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers and The Weeknd were among those paying tribute to the iconic songwriter on Twitter on Wednesday.

Temperton was born in Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire, England in 1947. He became a full-time musician when Temperton and guitarist Bernd Springer formed a soul cover band called Sundown Carousel in 1973. In 1974, he became a member of the popular disco band, Heatwave.

In 1979, Temperton was recruited by Quincy Jones to write for Michael Jackson’s first solo album. In 1982, he wrote the hit song, “Thriller” for his next LP, which became the biggest-selling album of all time.

Temperton was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Miss Celie’s Blues,” a song which he co-wrote with Jones and Lionel Richie for “The Color Purple.”

Platt has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

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