Kathryn Griffin-Townsend: Meet Townsend’s Daughter


Edward Benjamin ‘Ed’ Townsend was a famous American singer, songwriter, producer, and attorney.

He was born in Fayetteville, Tennessee in April 1929, and his family moved to Memphis when he was young.

Townsend was known for his hit song “For Your Love,” which he both composed and performed. He also co-wrote the iconic song “Let’s Get It On” with Marvin Gaye.


Townsend’s father was a pastor at an African Methodist Episcopal church. After graduating from high school, Townsend was elected to the International American Methodist Episcopal Youth Council (IAMEYC) and traveled worldwide before enrolling in college at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. After completing his degree, he taught for a year.

In 1951, Townsend joined the United States Marine Corps and served in Korea. After his discharge, he recorded several singles for various labels but none of them made it to the charts.

He recorded “For Your Love” in 1958 and initially planned to sell it to Nat “King” Cole. Capitol Records signed Townsend to record the song himself, and he performed it on American Bandstand. The song reached number 13 in the Billboard Hot 100.

After “For Your Love,” Townsend did not have any further hits as a vocalist. However, he continued to write and produce music for other artists.

He wrote the song “How Can I Forget?” for Jimmy Holiday, which was later covered by Ben E. King.

He also composed and produced several other songs such as “The Love of My Man,” “Tears Of Joy,” “Hand It Over,” “I Might Like It,” “Since I Found You,” and “Foolish Fool.”

In the early 1970s, Townsend collaborated with Marvin Gaye on the song “Let’s Get It On” and co-produced the album of the same title.

Townsend performed on the PBS television special “Rock, Rhythm, and Doo Wop” in 2000. He passed away on August 13, 2003. His son, David Townsend, of the band Surface, passed away at the age of fifty in 2005.

Townsend was buried at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California, and was honored with a Purple Heart for his service in the Korean War.

Kathryn Griffin-Townsend: Meet Townsend’s Daughter

Ed Townsend was married once and had two sons and one daughter, Kathryn Griffin-Townsend (one son was David Townsend, former guitarist for Surface).

Recently, Kathryn Griffin-Townsend and other heirs of Townsend filled a lawsuit against British singer and Four-time Grammy Award-winning musician Ed Sheeran.

Townsend’s camp claims the British singer-songwriter’s megahit used a melody too similar to “Let’s Get It On,” in addition to other musical elements that created the “heart” of Gaye’s hit song, the lawsuit states. The trial has been delayed for several years, the case was filled in 2017.

In an address, Kathryn Griffin-Townsend said,

“I am here for justice protecting my father’s intellectual properties,” she said as she made her way into the courthouse. “All I’m expecting is his name to be honored and his work and his legacy, and the fact that I want all artists’ intellectual properties protected by the individual who oversee our royalties.”

Kathryn Griffin-Townsend

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