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Sat, 01.18.1941

David Ruffin, Singer born

David Ruffin

*David Ruffin was born on this date in 1941. He was a Black singer.

From Whynot, Mississippi. his family moved to Detroit, where he and his brother sang at Otis Williams’s house. Ruffin began his professional career with producers Harvey Fuqua and Berry Gordy Jr. at Anna Records. His first solo release was "I'm In Love/One Of These Days." He followed this up with two singles on another Detroit-based label, Checkmate, that were written by Billy Davis.

One of the greatest lead singers Motown records ever had, David Ruffin became one of the artistic cornerstones of the Temptations after his lead vocal on "My Girl" (1965) paved the way for such majestic follow-ups as "Since I Lost My Baby" (1965), "Beauty is Only Skin Deep" (1966), "All I Need" (1967), and "I Wish it Would Rain" (1968). Unfortunately, ever-mounting internal pressures within the group, coupled with Ruffin's swelling ego, led to his dismissal from the group in late 1968.

His solo career got off to a promising start with the powerful ballad "My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)," which cracked the pop and soul Top Ten in early 1969. His last hit to reach the Top Ten was the Van McCoy-produced dance ballad "Walk Away From Love" in 1976. After leaving Motown in 1977, Ruffin recorded for Warner Brothers and, later, with RCA, accompanied by Eddie Kendricks.

Unfortunately, Ruffin's career, marred by years of substance abuse and artistic indifference, ended in his death from a drug overdose on June 1, 1991, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

To Become a Musician or Singer


ASCAP Biographical Dictionary
R. R. Bowker Co., Copyright 1980
ISBN 0-8351-1283-1

Heart & Soul
A Celebration of Black Music Style in America 1930-1975
by Merlis Davin Seay, Forward by Etta James
Copyright 2002, Billboard Books
ISBN 0-8230-8314-4

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