David Ruffin Net Worth at Death – How Did He Lose His Fortune?

David Ruffin Net Worth 

David Ruffin had a net worth of $150 thousand at the time of his death. David Ruffin was an American soul singer who rose to fame as one of the lead singers of the Temptations. He earned most of his income from album sales and concerts. However, most of his fortune was lost to legal troubles. 

David Ruffin began writing songs as a teenager. He sang in talent shows in Memphis before eventually signing with Motown Records and joining the Temptations. With Ruffin at the helm, the Temptations landed a big hit with songs like “My Girl” and “Am not Too Proud to Beg” before Ruffin’s drug use caused the band to break up and fire him. As a solo artist, Ruffin had occasional success, but experienced a rough road and died of a cocaine overdose two years after his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

To calculate the net worth of David Ruffin, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: David Ruffin
Net Worth: $150 Thousand
Monthly Salary: $8 Thousand
Annual Income: $100 Thousand
Source of Wealth: Singer, Musician

Early Years

Davis Eli Ruffin was born on January 18, 1941, in Whynot, Mississippi. His mother died during childbirth, so he was raised by his Baptist minister father. He left home at the age of 13 to become a minister, but he soon found himself singing in Memphis talent shows instead.

As a teenager, he began writing songs and progressed from talent shows to a full-fledged singing career (along with brother Jimmy) with the Dixie Nightingales, a local gospel group. Ruffin toured with the Womack Brothers, the Staple Singers, and the Dixie Hummingbirds, among others (all gospel groups). On stage, he evolved into a true showman, attracting the attention of both gospel audiences and secular-music professionals.

The Temptations

Ruffin was signed to Chicago’s Chess Records at the age of 17 before moving to Detroit, where he met Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records. He recorded an album with the Voice Masters and signed with a Motown subsidiary, but the music never took off. Ruffin’s big break came in 1963, when he was chosen to replace Eldridge Bryant as the Temptations’ tenor vocalist.

After a year and a half in the background, Ruffin took the vocal lead on hits such as “My Girl,” “I Wish It Would Rain,” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” and the band took off, appearing on American Bandstand and The Ed Sullivan Show while becoming international music stars. Jimmy, his brother, also signed with Motown Records and had a hit with “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.”

Ruffin received the lion’s share of media attention as the group’s new front man, but his erratic behavior, which was usually attributed to cocaine use, also drew attention.

He was officially deemed out of control when he demanded certain privileges not granted to the other members of the group and wanted the group’s name changed to David Ruffin and the Temptations (as had been done with Diana Ross and the Supremes), and the band fired him in June 1968.

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Solo Career and Legal Troubles

When Ruffin left the Temptations, he was still under contract with Motown Records, and he launched a solo career, finding success with “My Whole World Ended (the Moment You Left Me)” in 1969.

But success was fleeting, and Ruffin left the music industry for three years before resurfacing in 1975 with a top ten single (“Walk Away From Love”) and a few minor hits. After leaving Motown in 1979, he joined Warner Bros., but instead of a new beginning, it was the beginning of the end for Ruffin.

Ruffin was briefly imprisoned for tax evasion in the early 1980s, but he also joined the Temptations’ 1983 reunion tour. Ruffin, on the other hand, missed the first three shows of the tour because his old partying ways had returned with a vengeance.

Despite this, the tour resulted in a collaboration with Eddie Kendricks of the Temptations at a prestigious concert at New York’s Apollo Theater with longtime fans Hall and Oates. Ruffin and Kendricks also performed at the Live Aid concert in Philadelphia with Hall and Oates.


Ruffin, along with five other Temptations, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. Ruffin would collapse in a Philadelphia crack house two years later, at the age of 50. He was dropped off in front of a hospital hours later, where he died of a drug overdose.

Further Reading

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How To Become Rich Like David Ruffin?

David Ruffin did not become rich by luck. To become as rich as David Ruffin, you have to work smart.

Successful people become rich because they take advantage of the opportunities that come their way. They are in the right place at the right time and take the right action.

Thanks to the Internet, the world has changed massively in recent years. Nowadays it has become much easier to make money online.

Instead of looking for a 9-5 job and staying in your comfort zone, it’s better if you become your own boss as soon as possible.

You can learn how to build a digital asset that generates cash flow for you while you sleep to grow your wealth quickly.

If you seize this golden opportunity in time, you can become as successful as David Ruffin one day.

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