His music publisher said in a statement Wednesday that Temperton died last week of an “aggressive” cancer. No other details were provided.
Jon Platt of Warner/Chappell said Temperton was the sole writer of “Thriller,” “Off the Wall,” “Rock With You” and other major songs.
Temperton started his career in the R&B band Heatwave and collaborated with Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock, Anita Baker and many others. He was best known as a songwriter and worked closely with producer Quincy Jones on groundbreaking tracks for Jackson’s mega-selling “Off the Wall” and “Thriller” albums.