Posted by themusicsover on June 1, 2010
January 18, 1941 – June 1, 1991
As one-time lead singer of the Temptations, David Ruffin is arguable the greatest lead voice to come out of Motown. From 1965’s “My Girl,” to “All I Need” and “I Wish It Was Rain,” Ruffin’s voice defined the group and perhaps the era. But mounting friction caused mostly by Ruffin’s swelling ego along with his addiction to cocaine began to tear the group apart, so he was replaced in 1968. Ongoing legal problems with Motown along with his growing dependency on drugs kept his post-Temptations career from reaching the level his true talent deserved. But in 1989, things appeared to be turning around when the Temptations were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and Ruffin subsequently made peace with the other members of the group. He began working with Eddie Kendricks and Dennis Edwards, but within little over a year, Ruffin died of a drug overdose. There is some mystery about the circumstances leading to his death, like how he ended up at the hospital in Philadelphia, or what happened to $45,000 he was allegedly carrying before his death. There was even talk that his overdose might have been planned. But the official ruling nonetheless, was “accidental overdose.” Ruffin’s mysterious death wasn’t the only one to haunt the Temptations. Founding member Paul Williams also died under suspicious circumstances.
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