Supremes with Diana Ross

They were the hottest female group of the 1960’s. Diana Ernestine Earle Ross was born on March 26, 1944 in Detroit. Florence Ballard, born on June 30, 1943 and Mary Wilson born on March 6, 1944, both moved to Detroit in early life from Mississippi.  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” each went gold on the Hit Parade.

In June of 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”.

At 32 years of age, Florence Ballard died on February 22, 1976 following a heart attack.

Three Supremes songs have been named to the Grammy Hall of Fame: “Where Did Our Love Go” and “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” in 1999 and “Stop! In the Name of Love” in 2001. They were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994, and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that same year. They were also  inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2007.