(1941-1991) US pop singer, member of the vocal group the Temptations 1962–68 and lead baritone on many of their hits, including ‘My Girl’ 1965. The Temptations were Motown Records’ most popular male group.
Born in Mississippi, Ruffin “heard gospel before I could think”; in Detroit he recorded on local labels before joining the Temptations. Their first hit, ‘The Way You Do the Things You Do’ 1964, was written by Smokey Robinson, with Eddie Kendricks on lead vocal. Ruffin became lead singer starting with ‘My Girl’ 1965, which sold a million copies, followed by ‘Since I Lost My Baby’ and ‘It’s Growing’ the same year, and many others. ‘I Wish It Would Rain’ 1968 also has Ruffin on lead, but he left after ‘Cloud Nine’ that year.
He had a few solo hits, notably ‘My Whole World Ended’ 1969 and ‘Walk Away From Love’ 1975. When the Temptations reformed for various projects, including the LP Reunion 1982, Ruffin took part.