Jimmy Ruffin Dead at 78
The late singer's children, Philicia Ruffin and Jimmy Lee Ruffin Jr., confirmed the sad news that Ruffin had died to the Associated Press on Wednesday (Nov. 19). No additional information was provided on the cause of 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," reads a statement from the Ruffin family. "We will treasure the many fond and wonderful memories we all have of him."
Ruffin was born on May 7, 1936, in Collinsville, Miss., and was the older brother of singer David Ruffin, who died in 1991 at age 50. The brothers traveled to Detroit where they were both separately signed to Motown -- Jimmy as a solo artist and David as one of the Temptations.
While at Motown, Jimmy garnered several top 10 hits, including 'What Becomes of the Brokenhearted' in 1966, and 'I've Passed This Way Before' in 1967. In 1980, he enjoyed a comeback hit with 'Hold on to My Love,' which was produced by the late Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.
Jimmy's songs have also been sampled by several rap artists, most notably Wyclef Jean on his 2003 song 'Industry.' The RZA also sampled the same piano break on Ghostface Killah's 1996 song 'After the Smoke Clears.'
Funeral arrangements for Jimmy Ruffin were not provided.
"We appreciate all of the love and prayers from our family, friends, his colleagues and his adoring fans," the family said.