HE'S the creative genius behind Michael Jackson's groundbreaking Thriller which changed the face of pop music forever.
But not many people know the writer behind the pop culture phenomenon — still the best selling solo album ever to been recorded — was actually an ex-fish processing worker called Rod from Grimsby.
Yet it is no surprise because Rod Temperton from Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire spent years leading a low-key life and had no interest in bathing in glory.
Born in 1947 he grew up in a working class household and was a quiet child.
"He was very unassuming at school and he still is," Rod’s former teacher told the Yorkshire Post in 2006.
After leaving school in 1960s, the music mad teenager worked shifts at the Ross Foods frozen fish factory in Grimsby docks.
But while Rod became a dab hand at gutting cod he was also harbouring an extraordinary talent for writing and performing music.
Rod's uncanny ability for melody would propel him to the heart of the world’s music industry.
He would amass a reported $124 million (£90m) which bought him a jet set lifestyle many homes across the globe.
Among those he worked with were Quincy Jones, Aretha Franklin, Donna Summer, George Benson, Herbie Hancock - and of course collaborating with the King of Pop himself.
His musical journey began in the early 1970s when he moved to Germany to join bands entertaining troops in American bases.
Here he met Johnnie Wilder Jr and became part of group that would become Heatwave - for which he penned the funk/disco hit Boogie Nights.
And when Michael Jackson need help with his 1979 album Off the Wall he recruited Rod to work his magic.
In 1982, he wrote three of the nine songs on Jackson’s Thriller, including the iconic title track.
The album sold 65m copies and become the biggest seller of all time.
But despite all his wealth and success, he shunned the limelight.
And despite mixing with LA music head honchos he kept his thick regional accent - said by some to resemble former Tory leader William Hague.
One producer, who worked with him for 30 years once said he had no ego despite his talent: "He's the same as he was before he was successful, a really, really nice guy."
Sadly Rod died of cancer two years ago in London.
Shortly before he died, he explained the secret behind his success.
He said: "You have to please yourself first. Once you feel the hairs stand up on the back of your hand – you can go for the world.
“Writing a song is the biggest moment of all. Yesterday it didn't exist. Today it does."
The one man music machine's greatest hits
Thriller isn't the only smash hit Rod Temperton wrote.
Here are some of the hit-maker's top tracks:
- Boogie Nights (1977) - Boogie Nights was he first ever song Tempterton wrote alone. It's a homage to the discos of the Saturday Night Fever era, reminding the crowd to 'keep on dancing' on repeat
- Always and Forever (1978) - A more modest success, Always and Forever is fondly remembered by baby boomers, who slow-danced to the humble ballad as teenagers
- The Groove Line (1978) - From Heatwave's second album, The Groove Line has become one of Temperton's most successful hits, certified platinum in the US
- Off The Wall (1979) - Michael Jackson's Off The Wall was a smooth ballad that later defined the 1980s sound
- Rock with You (1979) - This raunchy smooth ballad was renamed from "I Want To Eat You Up" to fit in with Jackson's 'wholesome' image. Both are among the 300 songs Temperton wrote for Jackson
- Baby, Come to Me (1981) - Originally sang by Patti Austin and James Ingram, this infectious love song has been constantly covered by others, including Dame Shirley Bassey
- Yah Mo B There (1983) - Although only reaching No. 44 in the UK, this tune was remixed in 1985 by Jellybean Benitez and is widely known in American pop culture
- Sweet Freedom (1986) - Written for Michael McDonald, Sweet Freedom featured in 1986 film Running Scared. It was covered as an electronic percussion track in 2002
- The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite) (1990) - Quincy Jones' 1990 tune was embraced by the hip-hop stars Robin Thicke and Trey Songz who added their own lyrics in 2010
- Hey Lover (1995) - A grammy award-winning single by LL Cool J, this song samples earlier 1982's "The Lady in My Life" from Michael Jackson, therefore earning Temperton a credit