Motown has lost one of its stars. Singer Jimmy Ruffin, best known for the single “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted,” died in Las Vegas Monday (Nov. 17) at the age of 78.
His children Phylicia Ruffin and Jimmy Lee Ruffin Jr. confirmed the death today releasing the following statement, "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. We will treasure the many fond and wonderful memories we all have of him."
The cause of death is unclear.
Ruffin was born in Mississippi in 1939. He found his way onto Motown Records as a solo artist after he was considered for a spot in the Temptations. His younger brother, David Ruffin, was ultimately chosen for the group. In 1966, Ruffin recorded “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” reaching No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100.
By the late ‘60s Ruffin was earning most of his song success on the U.K. charts with singles like “Farewell Is a Lonely Sound” and “It’s Wonderful (To Be Love by You).” He recorded an album with his brother, titled My Brother’s Keeper, in 1970.
A decade later Ruffin scored another Top 10 hit with “Hold on to My Love,” produced by BeeGees singer Robin Gibbs. His last album, There Will Never Be Another You, was released in 2012.
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(Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)