Produced in Mississippi in 1941, David Ruffin started composing songs when he was a teen. He sang in Memphis talent shows before finally signing with Motown Records and joining the Temptations. As a solo musician, Ruffin discovered occasional success, however he experienced a difficult road, expiring of a cocaine overdose two years after he was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
David Ruffin was born on January 18, 1941, in Whynot, Mississippi. His mother died during childbirth, and he was raised by his dad, a Baptist minister. At age 13, he left home to be a minister but shortly found himself singing in Memphis talent shows instead. He started composing songs as a teen and moved from talent shows right into a real singing career together with the Dixie Nightingales, an area gospel group. Joining several groups in sequence, Ruffin toured using the Womack Brothers, the Staple Singers as well as the Dixie Hummingbirds (all gospel groups). On stage, he grown right into a genuine showman, and his act attracted attention from both gospel bunches and secular music professionals.
He recorded an album with all the Voice Masters and signed using a Motown subsidiary company, but the music simply did not catch on.
As the group’s new front man, Ruffin started to get the lion’s share of media interest, but his unpredictable behaviour, generally caused by cocaine use, also started to attract focus.
But success was fleeting, and Ruffin dropped from the music business for 3 years, appearing in 1973 having a top 10 single (“Walk Away From Love”) and several small hits. In 1979, he joined Warner Bros. after leaving Motown, but instead of a fresh start it indicated the start of the ending for Ruffin.
The early 1980s found Ruffin briefly jailed for tax evasion, but additionally, it saw him join the Temptations’ 1983 reunion tour. Ruffin missed the very first three shows of the tour, yet, as his previous partying manners had returned with a vengeance. Regardless of this, the tour generated an appearance with all the Temptations’ Eddie Kendricks at a prestigious concert at Nyc ‘s Apollo Theater with longtime devotees Hall and Oates. Ruffin and Kendricks additionally joined Hall and Oates at the Live Aid concert in Philadelphia.
In 1989, Ruffin was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with five other Temptations. Only two years after, David Ruffin, at 50 years old , would fall in a Philadelphia crack house. Hours after he was dropped off in front of a hospital, where he died of a drug overdose.