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The Soul of a Singer: Mississippi-Born Jimmy Ruffin Dead at 78

LAS VEGAS, Nev.–If you’ve ever found yourself humming or even singing along to “What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted”, then you were singing a song by Jimmy Ruffin. He worked for Motown, but he and Temptations frontman brother David, were both born in Mississippi.

The Ruffins were from Collinsville. Both brothers were part of a group called the Dixie Nightingales as children. As adults, they were competitors, in a way.

Jimmy tried out for the Temptations, but his more charismatic brother ended up as the lead singer. Jimmy stayed a solo act.

His biggest hit was “What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted” in 1966 for Motown.

After that, he continued to sing live and record, but no success matched his 1966 single. He moved to Britain in the 80s, and finally to Vegas, where he died this week afetr being in the hospital for a month.

 

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