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Florence Ballard


Florence Glenda Ballard was created in Rosetta, MS, June 30, 1943, the ninth of 15 siblings. The family members shifted to Detroit before she changed ten to make use of the city’s flourishing job marketplace. Ballard got music classes, sang in her school’s choir, and constructed a reputation being a talented vocalist in her community. At 14, she befriended the Primes (Paul Williams, Eddie Kendricks, and Kell Osborne) and performed several gigs using the simple, silky trio at Detroit locations. The Primes’ supervisor, Milton Jenkins, prompted Ballard to create a sister group towards the Primes, therefore she selected Mary Wilson, Betty McGlown, and Diane Earle (Diana Ross). All sang business lead, but McGlown remaining early and was changed by Barbara Martin. Wilson experienced the lowest tone of voice; Ballard, probably the most demonstrative; and Earle, the best having a razor advantage. The Primettes performed hops, talent displays, and house celebrations for fun and encounter. They tried to obtain a cope with Berry Gordy’s Motown before they graduated from senior high school, only to find out to try once again after they completed; they slice a one-off record for the Lupine label, do backing classes for Lupine-affiliated brands, and had been present during periodic classes for Gordy. Their solitary, “Tears of Sorrow” b/w “Fairly Baby,” didn’t keep make a lot of the feeling but displayed persuasive harmonies and interesting leads. Around enough time of its launch, Ballard was sexually assaulted by potential professional basketball celebrity Reggie Harding. This significantly modified the singer’s perspective and behavior. Gordy authorized the Primettes the next period around in 1961. Following a renaming towards the Supremes (Gordy didn’t just like the Primettes), they slice their first solitary on Tamla; parental stresses forced Martin to give up soon thereafter and “I’D LIKE a man” flopped. Quickly, the suppliers zeroed in on Earle and hardly ever published anything for Wilson or Ballard. Following a group of flops, number 1 smashes became automated. The speed was frantic and Motown muddied water by pressing Wilson and Ballard from the limelight to limelight Ross. Ballard didn’t consider the snub well. The breaker arrived when she sick and tired of the relentless speed and started lacking gigs. By 1967, Cindy Birdsong (previously with Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles) experienced changed her as an associate from the Supremes. Lawsuits ensued. The amount of money Ballard believed was seated in a loan company ended up being a pittance. She wedded Thomas Chapman, a previous Motown chauffeur, in 1968, and through several cable connections inked a cope with ABC-Paramount. George Kerr created her first one, “NO MATTER How I State It” (1968), but radio play was nearly nonexistent. She finished an album, …YOU DON’T NEED TO, that ABC left for deceased. Despite gigs starting for Wilson Pickett, some tv appearances, executing with Costs Cosby, and performing at Leader Nixon’s inauguration party, Ballard experienced no industrial achievement. ABC released “Like Ain’t Like” in nov 1968 but allow it languish. The label got soured on Ballard, some state due to Chapman’s constant needs, and didn’t expand her agreement. She under no circumstances got another record offer. Within a couple of years, Ballard’s personal and monetary conditions proceeded to go from poor to abject. She shifted into public casing, and Chapman — with whom she got three kids — remaining the family members. After getting an insurance arrangement in 1975, she washed up her scenario and produced another proceed at recapturing stardom. An appearance at Detroit’s Ford Auditorium offered her a required increase. She reconciled with Chapman, bought a new home, and did tv. However the melancholy years, fueled by chemical substances and alcoholic beverages, weakened her program and triggered a fatal cardiac arrest on Feb 22, 1976. She was 32 yrs . old. In 2001, the U.K.-centered Spectrum label released The Supreme Florence Ballard, a compilation featuring her released and previously unreleased single recordings.

Quick Facts

Full Name Florence Ballard
Died February 22, 1976, Detroit, Michigan, United States
Profession Singer
Education Northwestern High School
Nationality American
Spouse Thomas Chapman
Children Nicole Chapman, Lisa Chapman, Michelle Chapman
Parents Lurlee Ballard, Jesse Ballard
Siblings Maxine Ballard, Gilbert Ballard, Cornell C. Ballard, Sr, Billy Ballard, Jesse Lambert Ballard, Jr
Music Songs Goin' Out of My Head, It Doesn't Matter How I Say It, Love Ain't Love, It's Not Unusual, Forever Faithful, Everything Wonderful
Albums The Supreme Florence "Flo" Ballard, The Supremes A' Go-Go, Merry Christmas, Meet The Supremes, More Hits by The Supremes, The Supremes Sing Holland–Dozier–Holland, The Supremes Sing Rodgers & Hart, The Supremes Sing Country, Western and Pop, A Bit of Liverpool, I Hear a Symphony, The Supremes at the Copa

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

1 The Supremes were awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 7060 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
2 The Effie White character from the Broadway play (and film) "Dreamgirls" is loosely based on Ballard. When Jennifer Hudson won the Golden Globe for her performance as Effie in the film version (Dreamgirls (2006)), she dedicated the award to Ballard, describing her as "a lady who never got a fair chance".
3 At the time of her death Ballard was actually on the verge of a very successful comeback. After winning a settlement from a slip-and-fall incident in which she had broken her leg, Ballard took the money and used it to put herself through a successful rehab and got herself back into shape. On June 25, 1975, she performed in Detroit as a part of the Joan Little Defense League at the Henry and Edsel Ford Auditorium, backed by the female rock group 'The Deadly Nightshade', to a highly receptive crowd. She sang Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman", and when the audience wanted an encore - a The Supremes encore - Ballard sang "Come See About Me". Soon after she received offers for recording contracts, interviews and appearances. She also performed on television, including a fairly candid conversation about her past and hoped future during an appearance on the local Detroit TV talk show, "The David Diles Show".
4 Ranked #16 on VH1's Greatest Women of Rock N Roll
5 Cousin of Hank Ballard.
6 Elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of The Supremes) in 1988.



Soulful Sixties 2004 Video Herself (as The Supremes)
The Bing Crosby Show 1968 TV Movie Herself (as the Supremes)
The Ed Sullivan Show 1964-1966 TV Series Herself / Singer
What's My Line? 1966 TV Series Herself - Mystery Guest
Hullabaloo 1965 TV Series Herself
To Tell the Truth 1965 TV Series Herself
It's What's Happening, Baby! 1965 TV Special Herself (as The Supremes)
The Mike Douglas Show 1965 TV Series Herself
Ready, Steady, Go! 1965 TV Series Herself
Musik aus Studio B 1965 TV Series Herself - Musician
The T.A.M.I. Show 1964 Documentary Herself (as The Supremes)
Thank Your Lucky Stars 1964 TV Series Herself
Top of the Pops 1964 TV Series Herself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

Be My Baby: The Girl Group Story 2006 TV Movie documentary Herself (uncredited)
God Only Knows: Vocal Harmony - The Voice 2003 TV Movie documentary Herself (as The Supremes)
Ed Sullivan's Rock 'n' Roll Classics, Vol. 4: Elvis & Other Rock Greats 2003 Video Herself (as The Temptions & The Supremes)
Standing in the Shadows of Motown 2002 Documentary Herself
Never Mind the Buzzcocks 2001 TV Series Herself
Top of the Pops: The True Story 2001 TV Movie documentary Herself
Motown 40: The Music Is Forever 1998 TV Movie documentary Herself
Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever 1983 TV Movie documentary Herself (Supremes member)
Beat! Beat! Beat! 1966 TV Series Herself - Musician

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