Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ songwriter Rod Temperton dies

The music legend wrote for Michael Jackson, Donna Summer and Herbie Hancock

Legendary songwriter and the mind behind hits like ‘Thriller’ and ‘Boogie Nights’ Rod Temperton has died.

Hailing from Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire, Temperton started his career in music as the co-founder of disco outfit Heatwave, before going on to work with the likes of Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, The Brothers Johnson, George Benson, Herbie Hancock, James Ingram and Michael McDonald.

He’s listed as the sole songwriter for ‘Thriller’, ‘Off The Wall’, ‘Rock With You’, ‘Baby Be Mine’ and ‘Burn This Disco Out’ by Michael Jackson, among others.

He died aged 66 after battling cancer.

A statement from Warner/Chappell reads: “Rod Temperton, British Composer and Musician, died last week at the age of 66 in London following a brief aggressive battle with cancer. His funeral was private. He was often referred to as The Invisible Man. He was the sole writer of multiple successful songs such as “Thriller”, “Off The Wall”, “Rock With You”, “Give Me The Night”, “Sweet Freedom”, “Always & Forever” and “Boogie Nights” to name just a few.

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