'Brokenhearted' Motown Legend Dead at 78

'What Becomes of the Brokenhearted' was Jimmy Ruffin's biggest hit
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2014 1:42 AM CST

The Motown singer whose ballad "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" was a big hit in 1966 has died at the age of 78. Jimmy Ruffin died Monday in a Las Vegas hospital of undisclosed causes, family members confirm to the AP. Ruffin, originally from Mississippi, moved to Detroit in the early 1960s and had a string of hits after signing to Motown's Miracle label, reports the BBC. Comeback hit "Hold On to My Love" made the top 10 in 1980. Ruffin, who lived in England for many years, became a prominent anti-drug campaigner when his brother David—an early lead singer of The Temptations—died of an overdose in 1991.

"Jimmy Ruffin was a phenomenal singer," Motown Records founder Berry Gordy tells Rolling Stone. "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." Ruffin 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," Gordy says. "Jimmy Ruffin will always be a part of the Motown legacy, and I extend my sincere condolences to his family, friends, and fans." (More Motown stories.)

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