Leonard: a Motown Legend


Glenn C. Leonard with Lauren C. Gavin, a Black Chronicle staff-member.

Legendary singer Glenn C. Leonard recently made an appearance with Forever Motown during a visit to Oklahoma City, and discussed his past and current plans for the future with The Black Chronicle.

A native of Washington, D.C.,   the singer grew up in a household filled with a  love for music and his passion for that art has grown since he was 6-years-old.

Early on, he learned to play the piano, the singer revealed in an interview, but he said his favorite instrument is the guitar.

He remembers the time when he first knew he had talent that was something special.

“When the lights came on and the curtains opened at the Howard Theater in D.C., I was gone and all I remember is that I started dancing,” he told this reporter.

He said he knew he wanted to be a professional entertainer at age 13, and began working hard to establish himself, and had started three singing groups by his early 20’s.

“The Chancellors,” “Instant Groove” and “True Reflections” soon got national reputations and traveled the country performing their original R&B songs.

There was “something missing,” the singer mused.

For the longest, Mr. Leonard recalled, he had dreamed of being one of The Temptations.  He listened to the group every day, he recalled.

One fateful day, he got a break.

He had gone for his final tryout for the band, to a man, all of The Temptations agreed, Glenn Leonard was what the group needed.

“You’re what we’ve been looking for,” one of The Temptations exclaimed, Mr. Leonard remembered.

He would go on to  have what critics called “an illustrious and legendary career” with the group as The first-tenor and lead singer for The Temptations.

The singer was with the group from 1975 through 1983.

“Well, Motown came along at a very pivotal time in our country’s history and the history of our people,” the singer reminisced.

“We found a way to show people that we can be business people, as well,” he said, referring to The Temptations.

The famed first-tenor left the group in 1983 and found a new love.

Glen C. Leonard became Rev. Glenn C. Leonard, an ordained minister of the gospel.

He founded a church in Houston, Texas, where he still can be found giving his audiences the benefit of what he calls “the full Temptations experience.” 

 “Rhythm, melody and words transform you and this is what I’m teaching in my lessons today,” the erstwhile R&B singer commented.

Rev. Leonard said he now has ambitions of starting a school of the arts and spiritual wisdom,” which he hopes will benefit future generations for years to come.

“I want selected artists who are gifted and willing to work hard,” the former Temptations singer remarked.

 I also want to teach young artists to learn the business before getting into it.”

“The music industry is like the Wild, Wild West,” the legendary singer continued.

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