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The Supremes

The Supremes were a wildly successful Motown singing group from the 1960s. Though the personnel changed frequently over the years, the Supremes began as Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson[?], old friends who had met in a public housing project in Detroit, Michigan. The trio, with Barbara Martin[?], were originally known as The Primettes and made a single for Lupine[?] in 1960. One year later, the Primettes became a trio known as the Supremes and signed to Motown Records.

Despite many singles with Diana Ross or Florence Ballard on lead vocals, the Supremes didn't have any hits until "When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes" (1963), a minor hit. The next year, "Where Did Our Love Go" became a #1 song and began a string of five #1 hits, including "Baby Love", "Stop! In the Name of Love", "Come See About Me" and "Back in My Arms Again".

After 1965, the Supremes' singles were less uniformly massive, though they still charted on a regular basis. Personnel problems within the group and within Motown Records' stable of performers led to tension among the Supremes. Florence Ballard was replaced in 1967 by Cindy Birdsong[?] (Patty Labelle & the BlueBelles[?]); she eventually sunk into poverty, dying on welfare in 1976. When Birdsong joined the group, the Supremes became Diana Ross & the Supremes while personality problems continued to plague the group. Rumors of a possible solo career by Ross helped to tear the group apart. This was finally announced in 1969, and Ross officially left in 1970, replacd by Jean Terrell[?]. Through yet more shifts in personnel, the Supremes managed a few more hits during the seventies but never regained their former fame.



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