David Ruffin

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David Ruffin | Pinterest | tc479

Singer Davis Eli “David” Ruffin, former lead singer of The Temptations, was born on January 18, 1941 and died on June 1, 1991 of “an adverse reaction to drugs”.

With a highly distinctive voice, Ruffin was ranked as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2008. Prior to signing with Motown and becoming a Temptation, when they were at the peak of their success, Ruffin had recorded with the Chess Detroit subsidiary CheckMate.

Personal issues began to take over his life. In 1982 he was sentenced to six months prison for failing to pay taxes during the mid-1970s. In 1986 he pleaded no contest to a charge of receiving and concealing a stolen gun worth less than $100 and was fined $50 plus $100 in court costs. In 1987 a cocaine arrest landed him in jail for repeated parole violations.

Most people are already aware that Jimmy Ruffin, a fellow Motown singer, was his brother, and after David Ruffin’s death, Jimmy Ruffin became a well known anti-drugs campaigner. Jimmy Ruffin died on November 17, 2014.