Motown Singer Jimmy Ruffin Dies at 78

Jimmy Ruffin

Jimmy Ruffin, the Motown singer mostly known for his hits  “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” and “Hold on to My Love,” died Monday (Nov.17) in a Las Vegas hospital. He was 78.

His death was confirmed by his children, Philicia Ruffin and Jimmy Lee Ruffin Jr., in a statement to the Associated Press. The family did not give any specific details about the cause of the late singer’s death.

“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,” the statement read . “We will treasure the many fond and wonderful memories we all have of him.”

“Jimmy Ruffin was a phenomenal singer,” Motown Records founder Berry Gordy said in a statement. “He was truly underrated because we were also fortunate to have his brother, David, as the lead singer of the Temptations, who got so much acclaim. Jimmy, as a solo artist, had ‘What Becomes of the Brokenhearted,’ one of the greatest songs put out by Motown and also one of my personal favorites.”

Gordy added: “He was a wonderful human being, quiet and unassuming, who touched many lives with his music, not just here in the states, but overseas, as well. Jimmy Ruffin will always be a part of the Motown legacy, and I extend my sincere condolences to his family, friends and fans.”

Jimmy Lee Ruffin was born on May 7, 1936, in Collinsville, Mississippi. Besides singularly finding success in his career, he also worked with his brother David Ruffin, a member of the Temptations. They created a collaborative album, “I Am My Brother’s Keeper,” in the 1970s. David Ruffin died in 1991 at age 50.

The family is currently making funeral arrangements.

“We appreciate all of the love and prayers from our family, friends, his colleagues and his adoring fans,” the statement said.

Listen to his hit “What Becomes Of the Broken Hearted” below!

(Photo Credit: Twitter)