Rod Temperton, the man who wrote Michael Jackson’s mega-hit “Thriller,” has died. He was 66.
According to BBC, Temperton passed away last week after a bout with cancer and his funeral has reportedly already taken place.
Along with “Thriller,” Temperton wrote the title-track to Michael Jackson’s album Off the Wall. Temperton also penned George Benson’s “Give Me the Night” and the Oscar-nominated “Miss Celie’s Blues” from The Color Purple. Despite his high profile writing skills, Temperton kept a notoriously low profile and was known as “The Invisible Man” during his career.
Celebrities including Mark Ronson and Latoya Jackson have expressed their grief via social media.
— Nile Rodgers (@nilerodgers) October 5, 2016
so devastated to hear that Rod Temperton has passed away. a wonderful man & one of my favourite songwriters ever. thank you for the magic x
— Mark Ronson (@MarkRonson) October 5, 2016
— La Toya Jackson (@latoyajackson) October 5, 2016
John Platt CEO and chairman of Warner/Chappell, Temperton’s longtime publisher issued a statement about his passing. “His family is devastated and request total privacy at this, the saddest of sad times.”