The Supremes

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The Supremes were a popular female group of the 1960s. Florence Ballard, born on June 30, 1943 and Mary Wilson born on March 6, 1944, each moved to Detroit in early life from Mississippi. Diana Ernestine Earle Ross was born on March 26, 1944 in Detroit. Starting out in 1958 as The Primettes, changing their name upon signing a recording contract with Motown in 1961, The Supremes had limited success until “When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes” hit the pop charts in late 1963.

Sparked by airplay from Top 40 radio, in 1964 they would begin a seven-year streak of million selling chart toppers, “Where Did Our Love Go”, “Baby Love”, “Come See About Me”, “Stop in the Name of Love”, “Back in my Arms Again”, “I Hear a Symphony”, “My World is Empty Without You”, “Love is Like an Aching In My Heart”, “You Can’t Hurry Love”, “You Keep Me Hanging On”, “Love is Here and Now You’re Gone”, “The Happening”, “Reflections”, “In and Out of Love”, “Love Child”, “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”, “I’m Living In Shame”, “Someday We’ll Be Together”, “Up the Ladder To the Roof” and “Stoned Love”.[1][2]

In June 1967, their name changed during an appearance at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, to “Diana Ross & The Supremes” with Cindy Birdsong replacing Florence Ballard. Diana Ross would begin her own solo career in 1970 following an appearance engagement at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas.

Over the next dozen years, Diana would have million sellers of her own with, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “Touch Me In the Morning”, “Do You Know Where You’re Going To”, “Love Hangover”, “Upside Down”, “I’m Coming Out”, “It’s My Turn”, “Endless Love”, “Why do Fools Fall in Love”, “Mirror, Mirror” and “Missing You”.

As an actress, Diana Ross also starred in the motion pictures, “Lady Sings the Blues”, “Mahogany” and “The Wiz”.

The Supremes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994. In 2007 Diana Ross & the Supremes were inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

Florence Ballard died on February 22, 1976.