Legacy: David Ruffin -- Remembering the life of the former Temptations member

By David Browne
Updated June 14, 1991 at 04:00 AM EDT

Legacy: David Ruffin

Today’s pop singers can barely sing and dance at the same time, but David Ruffin always could. The former member of the Temptations, who died June 1 at age 50, was known for his ego and wobbly post-Tempts career (he left in ’68) as much as for his voice. But Ruffin’s baritone — prominent on Motown gems like ”My Girl” and ”Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” — more than compensated. The drug-related circumstances of Ruffin’s death make a poignant story. But albums like the Temptations’ 1974 Anthology tell a better one: Gorgeous voices and songs defeat all pain, at least temporarily.