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Jimmy Ruffin
Jimmy Ruffin.png
Ruffin in 1967
Background information
Born (1936-05-07)May 7, 1936
Collinsville, Mississippi, United States
Died November 17, 2014(2014-11-17) (aged 78)
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Genres Soul, R&B, pop
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1956–present
Labels Motown

Jimmy Lee Ruffin (May 7, 1936 – November 17, 2014) was an American soul musician. He was the older brother of David Ruffin from The Temptations. Ruffin has had many records between the 1960s and 1980s. His most successful single is "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted".

Life and career

He was born on May 7, 1936 in Collinsville, Mississippi. His brother was born 2 years later. He first started singing with the gospel group, the Dixie Nightingales along with his brother. He then became a singer as part of the Motown stable in 1961. He was mostly on sessions but he also recorded singles for Miracle label. Ruffin was then drafted for national service. After he left the Army in 1964, Ruffin returned to Motown and was offered the opportunity to join the Temptations to replace Elbridge Bryant. They instead hired Ruffin's brother David after hearing him. Jimmy decided to continue his solo career and recorded for the Soul label, but he didn't have much success.

In 1966, after hearing a song about unrequited love written for The Spinners, he persuaded the writers that he should record it himself. Ruffin's recording of "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" became a major success. It was able to peak at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #6 on the R&B Chart. It remains as his most well known song.

On October 17, 2014, it was reported that Ruffin was gravely ill and was taken into an intensive care unit in a Las Vegas hospital. Ruffin died on November 17, 2014 in Las Vegas, aged 78.

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