Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

R.I.P. Jimmy Ruffin, singer of “What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted”

Illustration for article titled R.I.P. Jimmy Ruffin, singer of “What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted”

Motown singer Jimmy Ruffin has died. He was 78. Born in Collinsville, Mississippi, Ruffin moved north and signed to Motown Records in Detroit. There, he had a run of hits in the ’60s, including the soulful and haunting “What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted,” which became a top 10 single. He also sang “I’ve Passed This Way Before” and “Gonna Give Her All The Love I’ve Got,” and released his second top 10 hit, “Hold On To My Love,” in 1980.

Ruffin also worked with his younger brother David, a member of the Temptations, on 1970’s I Am My Brother’s Keeper.

Like so many soul singers, Ruffin struggled in the U.S. during the ’70s and ’80s, ultimately moving to the U.K. It was there he recorded “Soul Deep” with Paul Weller and The Style Council in 1984. A benefit single for striking U.K. coal miners, “Soul Deep” was a personal project for Ruffin, who appeared on the BBC with Weller to talk about how his father had worked in mines and how he “understands the suffering.”

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