Norman Whitfield


The childhood part of my life wasn't very pretty
You see, I was born and raised in the slums of the city

The Temptations, 'Cloud Nine'

Norman Jesse Whitfield (May 12th 1940 – September 16th 2008) was a native of Harlem, New York. During his 25-year career, Whitfield co-wrote and produced many enduring hits for various Motown artists, including ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg’, ‘(I Know) I’m Losing You’, ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’, ‘Cloud Nine’, ‘I can’t Get Next to You’, ‘War’, ‘Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World is Today)’, ‘Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)’, ‘Smiling Faces Sometimes’, and ‘Papa Was a Rolling Stone’. Whitfield worked extensively with The Temptations as a producer and songwriter; he solely produced eight of their albums between 169 and 1973. He was inducted in to the songwriters hall of fame in 2004 and has written or co-written 61 hits in the UK charts and 92 in the US charts.