David Ruffin and
After escaping an abusive relationship with James Brown, Tammi began a volatile relationship with David Ruffin, the lead singer of the Temptations, in 1965. In 1966, David surprised her with a marriage proposal.
However, when she announced their engagement on stage Davis became upset. Tammi was devastated once she discovered that he had a wife, three children and another girlfriend in Detroit. His drug use and infidelity led to them having public fights. Tammi was portrayed in the Temptations movie during the Motown picnic scene. It was claimed that
with a hammer or a machete, though this was denied by
Tammi’s family. Earl Van Dyke, leader of Motown’s Funk Brothers band, recalled seeing David beat up Tammi at the Motown
“Hitsville U.S.A.” headquarters. Her sister Ludie Montgomery also confirmed a story that David hit Tammi in the face with his motorcycle helmet, leading to the end of their relationship in 1967. Tammi went on to record classic duets with Marvin Gaye, but she unfortunately died from a brain tumor at the age of 24 in 1970. David died of a drug overdose in 1991.