By Brian Ives
While Ruffin didn’t achieve the iconic status of many of his Motown label mates, “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” remains one of the label’s most enduring hits; it has been covered throughout the years by artists including the Supremes, Boy George, Joe Cocker, Martina McBride and Rod Stewart. It was a No. 7 hit in 1966.
Ruffin’s next top hit wouldn’t come until 1980’s “Hold On to My Love,” a No. 10-peaking track from his Sunrise album, which was produced by Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.
Ruffin was the older brother of Temptations singer David Ruffin, who died in 1991 at 50. While they were both signed to Motown, they had separate careers, although they collaborated on the 1970 album I Am My Brother’s Keeper.