Jimmy Ruffin, the singer most famous for the hit “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?,” has died at the age of 78. You can listen to his hit above.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Ruffin Died in Las Vegas
He died in a Las Vegas hospital on November 18, reports CBS Las Vegas. Music producer Ian Levine tweeted the above this upon hearing of the death. In a brief statement his family said:
Jimmy Ruffin was a rare type of man who left his mark on the music industry. My family in its entirety is extremely upset over his death. He will truly be missed,” a statement from Philicia Ruffin and the Ruffin family said. “We will treasure the many fond and wonderful memories we all have of him.
2. He Had Been Gravely Ill Since October
The cause of death has not been revealed, his children, Philicia and Jimmy Ruffin Jr., confirmed his death. In total the singer had six children, his son Jimmie Ray, died before his father. In October 2014, the website Soul Tracks spoke to family members who said Ruffin had been hospitalized in Las Vegas and was “gravely ill.” You can watch a more recent version of him performing his most famous song above.
3. His Younger Brother Was David Ruffin of The Temptations
He was the older brother of Temptations frontman David Ruffin. David Ruffin died of a drug overdose in 1991 which prompted Jimmy to become an anti-drug advocate for the rest of his life. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported at the time of David’s death that he suffered from cocaine abuse. You can watch David’s last performance with The Temptations above.
4. Ruffin Was a Mississippi Native
He was native of Collinsville, Mississippi, having been born there in 1936. Ruffin moved to Detroit with his brother in the early 1960s to become part of the Motown scene. After the scene faded, Ruffin relocated to England where he “lived for many years,” reports the Associated Press.
5. Ruffin Was One of Berry Gordy’s Stars
He was part of Berry Gordy’s hit-making machine record label in the 1960s.