RIP: Jimmy Ruffin, Motown’s Silken-Voiced Shepherd Of The Broken Hearted, Dead At 78

DETROIT NEWS: One of Motown Records’ most memorable voices is gone, as balladeer Jimmy Ruffin died at a Las Vegas hospital late Monday. He was 78. Ruffin’s most enduring hit has to be 1966’s “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted,” with its majestic, stately rhythm and Ruffin’s deeply soulful, sorrowful vocal. He followed up that Top 10 hit with “I’ve Passed This Way Before” in 1967. In 1980 he enjoyed a comeback hit with “Hold on to My Love.” Ruffin was born May 7, 1936 in Collinsville, Mississippi, the older brother of singer David Ruffin. The brothers made their way north, eventually settling in Detroit, where each (separately) ended up signing with Motown Records, Jimmy as a solo artist and David as one of the Temptations. The Ruffin brothers collaborated on a 1970 album for Motown, “I Am My Brother’s Keeper.” David Ruffin died in 1991, at age 50. MORE