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The Supremes

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The Supremes

The Supremes in 1965. Left to right: Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson and Diana Ross.
Background information
Also known as The Primettes; Diana Ross & the Supremes
Origin Detroit, Michigan, United States
Genres R&B, pop, soul, disco
Years active 1959–77
Labels Lupine, Motown
Associated acts The Temptations
Past members
Florence Ballard
Mary Wilson
Betty McGlown
Diana Ross
Barbara Martin
Cindy Birdsong
Jean Terrell
Lynda Laurence
Scherrie Payne
Susaye Greene

The Supremes were an American female singing group, and the most successful vocal group during the sixties, second only to The Beatles. Active from 1959 until 1977, the Supremes performed, at various times, doo-wop, pop, soul, Broadway show tunes and disco. The Supremes were the most commercially successful of the Motown Records' signature acts, and charted twelve American number-one hits between 1964 and 1969. Many of their singles were written and produced by Motown's main songwriting and production team, Holland-Dozier-Holland. The mid-1960s crossover success of the Supremes paved the way for future black soul and R&B acts in gaining mainstream audiences.

The Supremes formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1959 and began as a quartet called The Primettes. Founding members Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross and Betty McGlown, all from the Brewster-Douglass public housing project in Detroit, were the sister act to The Primes (with Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks, who would go on to form The Temptations). In 1960, Barbara Martin replaced McGlown, and the group signed with Motown in 1961 as The Supremes. Martin left in early 1962, and Ross, Ballard and Wilson carried on as a trio. Achieving success in the mid-1960s with Ross as lead singer, Motown president Berry Gordy renamed the group Diana Ross & the Supremes in 1967 and replaced Ballard with Cindy Birdsong. Ross left the group for a successful solo career in 1970 and was replaced by Jean Terrell.

After 1972, the lineup of the Supremes changed frequently, with Lynda Laurence, Scherrie Payne and Susaye Greene all becoming members before the group ended its eighteen-year existence in 1977.



In 1958, Florence Ballard—a junior high school student in the Detroit Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects—met both Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks, two members of a Detroit male singing group known as The Primes. Since Ballard sang, as did Paul Williams' girlfriend Betty McGlown, the Primes' manager Milton Jenkins decided to create a sister group called The Primettes. Ballard recruited her best friend Mary Wilson, who recruited classmate Diana Ross. The Primettes began performing songs by artists such as Ray Charles and The Drifters at record hops, social clubs, and talent shows around the Detroit area. The group's look and style owed much to the inspiration of doo-wop group Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers. Ballard, Ross, and Wilson shared most of the lead. Within a few months, the Primettes added a guitarist, Marvin Tarplin, to their lineup.

After winning a local talent contest, Ross arranged an audition for an old neighbour, Miracles lead singer Smokey Robinson, in hopes of getting the Primettes signed to the local Motown label. Robinson liked the girls, but liked their guitarist even more. He hired Tarplin, who became the guitarist for The Miracles. Robinson arranged for the Primettes to audition acapella for Motown CEO Berry Gordy, Jr., who felt they were too young and inexperienced to be recording artists. Undaunted, The Primettes recorded a single for Lupine Records, 1960's "Tears of Sorrow", which was backed with "Pretty Baby". However, it failed to find an audience. During that same year, McGlown became engaged and left the group, to be replaced by Barbara Martin.

In January of 1961, Gordy relented and signed the group to Motown under the condition that they change their name (the Primes had by this time combined with Otis Williams & the Distants and would soon sign to Motown as The Temptations). Gordy gave Ballard a list of names to choose from, from which she chose The Supremes. Both Wilson and Ross initially disliked the name, thinking it too masculine. Nevertheless, the group signed with Motown as The Supremes on January 15, 1961. Martin left the group to start a family that fall, leaving the Supremes to continue as a trio.


Between 1961 and 1963, the Supremes released eight singles, none of which charted within the Top 40 positions of the Billboard Hot 100. Jokingly referred to as the "no-hit Supremes" around Motown's Hitsville U.S.A. offices, the girls tried to make up for their lack of a hit by taking on any performing chore that was available at the studio, including doing hand claps and singing backup for Motown artists such as Marvin Gaye and The Temptations. During these early years, all three members took turns singing lead on various songs: Mary Wilson favoring the soft ballads; Florence Ballard favoring the soulful, hard-driving songs; and Diana Ross favoring the more mainstream pop songs. Most of their early material was written and produced by Berry Gordy or Smokey Robinson.

In December 1963, the Supremes song " When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes" peaked at number 23 on the Billboard pop chart. "Lovelight" was the first of many Supremes songs written by the Motown songwriting and production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. Also, in late 1963, Berry Gordy made Diane Ross, now going by Diana, the official lead singer of the group, because he felt her distinctive, nasal quality would help the group cross over to white audiences. Ballard and Wilson were periodically given solos on Supremes albums, and Ballard continued to sing her solo number, " People", in concert for the next two years.

The Supremes recorded the single "Where Did Our Love Go" in the spring of 1964. The song was originally intended by Holland-Dozier-Holland for The Marvelettes, who rejected it. Although the Supremes did not like the song, the producers coerced them into recording it. In August 1964, while traveling as a part of Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars tour, "Where Did Our Love Go" reached number one on the US pop charts, much to the surprise and delight of the group. It was also their first song to reach the UK pop charts, going to number three.

"Where Did Our Love Go" was followed by four more US number-one hits: " Baby Love"—also a number-one hit in the United Kingdom—" Come See About Me", " Stop! In the Name of Love" and " Back in My Arms Again". "Baby Love" was nominated for the 1965 Grammy Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording, and "Stop! In the Name of Love" was nominated for the 1966 Grammy for Best Contemporary Rock & Roll Group Vocal Performance. Between late 1966 and early 1967, the Supremes charted four more number-one hits in a row: " You Can't Hurry Love", " You Keep Me Hangin' On", " Love Is Here and Now You're Gone", and " The Happening". The combination of Holland-Dozier-Holland's songwriting and production, Ross' lead vocals, and Wilson and Ballard's background vocals made for a winning combination.


Unlike their predecessors, the Supremes became the first black female performers of the rock era to embrace a more feminine image. Much of this was accomplished at the behest of Motown chief Berry Gordy and Maxine Powell, who ran Motown's in-house finishing school and Artist Development department. Also, unlike many of her contemporaries, Diane Ross sang in a thin, calm voice, and her vocal styling was matched by having the girls embellish their own femininity instead of imitating the qualities of male groups. Instead of the plain appearances and basic dance routines, the Supremes' on-stage appearance featured high-fashion gowns and wigs, detailed makeup, and graceful choreography created by Motown choreographer Cholly Atkins. Gordy wanted the Supremes, like all of his performers, to be equally appealing to black and white audiences, and he also sought to erase the image of black performers as being unrefined or lacking class.

The Supremes were international stars by 1965. They toured the globe, becoming almost as popular abroad as they were in America. Almost immediately after their first number-one hits, they recorded songs for motion picture soundtracks, appeared in the 1965 film Beach Ball, and endorsed dozens of products, even at one point having their own brand of bread. By the end of 1966, their number-one hits also included " I Hear a Symphony", " You Can't Hurry Love", and " You Keep Me Hangin' On"; and their 1966 album The Supremes A' Go-Go became the first album by an all female group to reach at number-one on the US album chart.

Because the Supremes were popular with white audiences as well as black audiences, Gordy had the Supremes cater to their middle American fan base, grooming them for performances at renowned supper clubs such as the Copacabana in New York. Broadway and pop standards were incorporated into their repertoire alongside their own hit songs. As a result, the Supremes were among the first black musical acts to become a complete and sustained crossover success. The black rock and roll musicians of the 1950s saw many of their hit tunes covered by white musicians, with the covers achieving more fame and sales success than the originals. Partially because of Diana Ross’ pop-friendly voice, The Supremes became hugely popular with international mainstream audiences. The group broke down many racial barriers, becoming one of the first black musical acts to appear regularly on television programs such as Hullabaloo, The Hollywood Palace, The Della Reese Show, and, most notably, The Ed Sullivan Show; between December 1964 and December 1969, Sullivan featured The Supremes fourteen times. The group's crossover success helped pave the way for the mainstream success of label mates such as The Temptations, The Four Tops and The Jackson 5.

Name and personnel changes

Personnel problems within the group and within Motown Records' stable of performers led to tension among the Supremes. Many of the other Motown performers, particularly Martha Reeves of Martha and the Vandellas, felt that Berry Gordy was lavishing too much attention upon The Supremes—-and Diana Ross, in particular. A resulting romantic relationship between Gordy and Ross further complicated matters, creating a schism between Ross and the other Supremes. As Ross became the focal point of the group, Florence Ballard felt pushed aside in the group she had founded. Depression caused Ballard to drink excessively, and she gained weight until she no longer could comfortably wear many of her stage outfits. The friendship, and later the working relationship, between Ross and Ballard became strained. Although the Supremes scored two number-one hits during the first quarter of 1967, " Love Is Here and Now You're Gone" and " The Happening", the group as a unit began to disintegrate.

Rumors began to circulate in late 1966 that Motown intended to rename the group "Diana Ross & the Supremes", a change officially announced in early 1967, after a concert where they were billed as "The Supremes with Diana Ross". The Miracles had become "Smokey Robinson & the Miracles" two years prior. The fall of 1967 saw Martha & the Vandellas become "Martha Reeves & the Vandellas". However, having learned that Ross would receive top billing, David Ruffin lobbied—unsuccessfully—to have the Temptations renamed as "David Ruffin & the Temptations". Although Gordy maintained that the name changes were done so that Motown could demand more money for live bookings (because they would be providing two acts—a lead singer and a group—instead of just one), the name change for the Supremes sparked rumors of a possible Ross solo career, and helped to dismantle the group.

By 1967, Ballard would sometimes fail to show up for recording dates, or would arrive at shows too inebriated to perform. For some early 1967 shows, she was replaced by Marlene Barrow of Motown's in house backing group, The Andantes. Gordy contacted Cindy Birdsong in April 1967. Birdsong was a member of Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles and superficially resembled Ballard, and Gordy began plans to bring her in as Ballard's replacement. Birdsong appeared at a benefit concert at the Hollywood Bowl on April 29, 1967, but returned to the Bluebelles soon afterwards due to prior committments. In May, Ballard returned for what she believed was a probationary period.

June 28, 1967 marked the group's first appearance as Diana Ross & the Supremes at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. After only three days of performances, Ballard was permanently dismissed from the Supremes, and Birdsong officially assumed her place during the second July 1 show. Later in the month, Motown released " Reflections", a number-two US Billboard hit single, which was the first single to feature the new group name. Diana Ross & the Supremes: Greatest Hits, a number-one album in both the US and the UK, became the first album to do so when released in October of 1967.

Florence Ballard's release from Motown was made final on February 22, 1968, with Ballard receiving a one-time payment of $139,804.94 in royalties and earnings. Attempting a solo career with ABC Records, (she rejected an offered solo contract from Motown as part of her settlement) Ballard's two 1968 singles failed to chart and her solo album was shelved. In 1971, Ballard sued Motown for $8.7 million, claiming that Gordy and Diana Ross had conspired to force her out of the group; the judge ruled in favour of Motown. Ballard eventually sank into poverty and died abruptly on February 22, 1976 from coronary thrombosis, a blood clot in one of her coronary arteries at the age of thirty-two. At the time of her death, Florence was making a comeback and planned to give her solo career another start.


Holland-Dozier-Holland left Motown in early 1968 after a dispute with the label over royalties and profit sharing, and the quality of Motown's output (and Diana Ross & the Supremes' records in particular) began to falter. From the release of "Reflections" in 1967 to the release of "The Weight" in 1969, only six out of the eleven released singles reached the Top 20, and only one of those, 1968's " Love Child", made it to number one. Because of the tension within the group and stringent touring schedules, neither Mary Wilson nor Cindy Birdsong appear on many of these singles; they were replaced on these recordings by session singers such as The Andantes.

The changes within the group and their decreasing sales were signs of changes within the music industry. The gospel-based soul of female performers like Aretha Franklin had eclipsed the Supremes' pop-based sound, which had by now evolved to include more middle-of-the-road material. In a cultural climate now influenced more than ever by countercultural movements such as the Black Panther Party, the Supremes found themselves attacked for not being "black enough", and lost ground in the black music market.

In mid-1968, Motown initiated a number of high-profile collaborations for the Supremes with their old colleagues, The Temptations. Besides the fact that both groups had come up together, the pairings also made financial sense, since the Supremes had a mostly white fanbase, and the Temptations a mostly black fanbase. Among the joint projects were two studio LPs ( Diana Ross & the Supremes Join the Temptations, featuring the number-two hit single " I'm Gonna Make You Love Me", and Together), a joint tour, and two NBC television specials, TCB (aired December 9, 1968) and G.I.T. on Broadway (aired November 12, 1969). TCB was, also, the third Number One album for The Supremes.

Exit Diana Ross

By 1969, Motown had begun plans for a Diana Ross solo career. A number of candidates, most notably Syreeta Wright, were considered to replace Ross as the lead singer of The Supremes. After seeing twenty-four-year-old Jean Terrell performing with her brother Ernie in Florida, Berry Gordy decided that she would be Ross' replacement. Terrell was signed to Motown and began recording the first post-Ross Supremes songs with Wilson and Birdsong during the day, while Wilson and Birdsong toured with Ross at night.

At the same time, Diana Ross began making her first solo recordings. One of them, " Someday We'll Be Together", was set to be her first solo single. Gordy instead had the song released as the final Diana Ross & the Supremes single, though neither Mary Wilson nor Cindy Birdsong sang on the record. In November 1969, Ross' solo career was officially announced. The next month, "Someday We'll Be Together" hit number one on the American pop charts, becoming not only the Supremes' twelfth and final number-one hit, but also the final number-one hit of the 1960s.

The "New Supremes"

Diana Ross & the Supremes gave their final performance together on January 14, 1970 at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas. After the stupendous Frontier Hotel performance, Ross officially began her career as a solo performer. Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong continued working with Jean Terrell on the first post-Ross Supremes album, Right On. The Terrell-led Supremes – known unofficially at first as "The New Supremes", and in later years informally called the "70's Supremes" – scored hits including the US and UK Top Twenty hits " Up the Ladder to the Roof" (US #10, UK #6), " Stoned Love" (US #7,UK #3), and " Nathan Jones" (US #16, UK #5), all of which were produced by Frank Wilson. Each of these three singles were also R&B Top Ten hits, with "Stoned Love" going to number-one on the R&B charts in late 1970. Songwriting/production team Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson produced another Top 20 hit for the group, a Supremes/ Four Tops duet version of Ike & Tina Turner's " River Deep - Mountain High". Many music critics proclaimed the "New Supremes" as a "blacker" act than the Ross-led group.

In 1972, The Supremes had their last Top 20 hit single release, " Floy Joy", written and produced by Smokey Robinson, followed by the final US Top 40 hit for the Jean Terrell-led version of the group, " Automatically Sunshine" (US #37, UK #10,). " Automatically Sunshine" in turn became the group's final top ten single in the UK. Motown, by then moving from Detroit to Los Angeles to break into motion pictures, put only limited effort into promoting The Supremes' new material, and their popularity and sales began to wane. Cindy Birdsong left the group in April 1972, after recording the Floy Joy album, to start a family; her replacement was Lynda Laurence, a former member of Stevie Wonder's backup group, Wonderlove. Successful producer Jimmy Webb was brought in to produce the group's next LP, The Supremes Produced and Arranged by Jimmy Webb, but the album and its only single "I Guess I'll Miss the Man" failed to make an impact on the Billboard pop chart, with "I Guess I'll Miss the Man" charting at number 85. In late 1973, Laurence prevailed upon her old mentor Stevie Wonder to write and produce a hit for the Supremes, but the resulting " Bad Weather" peaked at number 87 on the US pop charts and number 37 in the UK. Dismayed by this poor-performing record, Jean Terrell left the group and was replaced by Scherrie Payne, sister of Invictus Records recording artist Freda Payne. Almost immediately afterward, Laurence left for the same reason as Birdsong; to start a family.

Between the departures of Terrell and Laurence in 1973 and the first Supremes single with Scherrie Payne, "He's My Man", a disco single on which Payne and Wilson shared lead vocal, released in 1975, Motown was slow in producing contracts for Payne and the returning Birdsong. Before the release of the album in 1975, The Supremes remained a popular live act, and continued touring overseas, particularly in the United Kingdom and Japan. The group's new recordings were not as successful as their earlier releases, although "He's My Man", from the album The Supremes was a popular disco hit in 1975 reaching number one on Billboard's disco singles chart. In 1976, Birdsong, dissatisfied with the management of the Supremes (handled at the time by Mary Wilson's then-husband Pedro Ferrer), left again and was replaced by Susaye Greene, another former member of Wonderlove. This final version of the Supremes released two albums, High Energy—which features Birdsong on some of the tracks—and Mary, Scherrie & Susaye, both of which reunited the Supremes with Holland-Dozier-Holland. During that same year, the Supremes released " I'm Gonna Let My Heart Do the Walking", their final Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and their third number-one single on the disco singles chart.

On Sunday June 12, 1977, supported by singer/songwriter Billy Ocean, the Supremes performed their farewell concert at the Drury Lane Theatre in London and officially disbanded. The show was originally intended as a farewell concert for original member Mary Wilson, with Scherrie Payne and Susaye Greene continuing the group, although at that stage no replacement member had been auditioned or named.

After their disbanding and announcements that all three members (particularly Wilson) would begin solo careers, there were soon rumors that Payne and Greene had auditioned several candidates for Wilson's replacement, including Joyce Vincent Wilson, formerly of Tony Orlando and Dawn. But, Motown felt that since no original member would be in the group, it was time to call it quits for The Supremes. In 1979, Wilson had her first solo album, Mary Wilson, released by Motown, which included a single titled "Red Hot". That same year, Payne and Greene released an album titled Partners under the names "Scherrie & Susaye". Scherrie Payne released a single titled "Fly"; the single's b-side, "When I Looked At Your Face", was recorded for the Jodie Foster film Moi, Fleur Bleu.


Works inspired by The Supremes

Several fictional works show notable inspiration from the story of the Supremes. The 1976 feature film Sparkle, starring Irene Cara, features the story of a Supremes-like singing trio called "Sister & the Sisters" from Harlem, New York. The film's songs and score were composed by soul musician Curtis Mayfield, and a soundtrack album by Aretha Franklin was a success, with the Supremes-esque " Something He Can Feel" becoming a number-one R&B hit. A remake of Sparkle, to have been produced by Whitney Houston's BrownHouse Productions, was in development in the early 2000s, with R&B singer Aaliyah in the lead, but was shelved after Aaliyah died in 2001. As recently as 2003, the Sparkle remake was announced as being in development for Disney Channel star Raven-Symoné.

On December 21, 1981, the Tony Award-winning musical Dreamgirls opened at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway and ran for 1522 performances. The musical was loosely based on the history of the Supremes, following the story of The Dreams, an all-female singing trio from Chicago, Illinois who become music superstars. Several of the characters in the play are analogues of real-life Supremes/Motown counterparts, with the focus of the story centering upon the Florence Ballard doppelgänger Effie White. While influenced by the Supremes' and Motown's music, the songs in the play are closer to a broader mix of R&B/soul and Broadway music. Mary Wilson loved the musical, but Diana Ross was reportedly angered by it and refused to see it. A motion picture adaptation of Dreamgirls was released by DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures on December 25, 2006. The feature-film version of Dreamgirls, written and directed by Bill Condon, contains more overt homages to Motown and The Supremes: for example, the Dreams in the film version are from Detroit, not Chicago.

Two of the Supremes have written autobiographies. Mary Wilson's best-selling autobiography Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme was published in 1986 (and remains one of the most successful music autobiographies of all-time), and in 1990, she published the follow-up Supreme Faith: Someday We'll Be Together. In January 2000, the two books were released together as Dreamgirl & Supreme Faith: My Life as a Supreme, and included an afterword. Diana Ross had her own autobiography, Secrets of a Sparrow: Memoirs, published in 1993.

Awards and followers

Although the Supremes were twice nominated for a Grammy Award – for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording ("Baby Love", 1965) and Best Contemporary Rock & Roll Group Vocal Performance ("Stop! In the Name of Love", 1966)–they never won an award in competition. Three of their songs – "Where Did Our Love Go" and "You Keep Me Hangin' On" (both 1999) and "Stop! In the Name of Love" (2001) – have been named to the Grammy Hall of Fame. In addition, the Supremes songs "Stop! In the Name of Love" and "You Can't Hurry Love" are among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994, and entered into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2004, Rolling Stone placed the group at #97 on their list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time".

The Supremes are notable for the influences they have had on the black girl groups who have succeeded them in popular music. Among these acts are groups such as The Three Degrees, The Emotions, The Pointer Sisters, En Vogue, TLC, Destiny's Child and Cleopatra.


Fan interest made the idea of a Supremes reunion tour a very profitable one during the 1980s. In 1982, around the time that Motown reunited all of The Temptations, it was rumored that Motown would reunite The Supremes. The 1974 line-up of the Supremes; Mary Wilson, Cindy Birdsong, and Scherrie Payne were considered for this reunion, which was to include new recordings and a tour. Under advisement from Berry Gordy, Wilson declined to reunite, and the idea was scrapped. Diana Ross briefly reunited with Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong to perform "Someday We'll Be Together" on the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever television special, broadcast on NBC on May 16, 1983.

In 1986, Mary Wilson, Cindy Birdsong, Jean Terrell, and Scherrie Payne were approached to again reunite The Supremes. Wilson, now a solo artist, was not interested. Terrell, Birdsong and Payne agreed, however at the last minute, Birdsong declined to participate. Ironically, in this new incarnation, she was once again replaced by Lynda Lawrence. Terrell, Payne, and Lynda Laurence began touring the US, Europe, and Japan as the FLOS: Former Ladies of the Supremes. Terrell, Laurence, and Scherrie Payne recorded a cover of "Stoned Love" for British producer Ian Levine in 1989. When Terrell decided to quit to return to the family business in 1992, new member Sundray Tucker, sister of Lynda Laurence, but someone who had never been a member of the Supremes, stepped in and the trio continued performing and recording. Their first release was an album for the U.S. based Altair label titled Supreme Voices, which was recorded in the U.S. for producer Rick Gianatos. The ladies then hooked up with British fan Steve Weaver, which resulted in the album Supremely Yours on the Reflections label. Supremely Yours included a cover of The Supremes' 1971 single "Touch". Reverting back to the more comfortable name the Supremes, they then embarked on the project of re-recording virtually all of the old hits. Ironically, neither Payne nor Laurence originally sang on many of the original hit versions. These tracks appear on numerous "greatest hits" compilations, billed—incorrectly—as being by "the Supremes", around the world. Payne and Laurence continue to tour under the FLOS name with third member Freddi Poole, who joined the group in 1996; she also had never been a Supreme. The FLOS celebrated their twentieth anniversary in 2006 (with Birdsong, Tucker and Susaye Greene in the audience), although sometimes they are billed, incorrectly, as just the Supremes. Recently, The FLOS changed their name to a more suitable billing: Scherrie Payne and Lynda Lawrence: Former Ladies of the Supremes.

In 2000, plans were made for Ross to join Wilson and Birdsong for a planned "Diana Ross & the Supremes: Return to Love" reunion tour. However, Wilson and Birdsong both passed on the idea, because, while the promoters offered Ross $15 million to perform, Wilson was offered $3 million and Birdsong less than $1 million. Eventually, the "Return to Love" tour went on as scheduled, but with Scherrie Payne and Lynda Laurence joining Ross, although none of the three had ever been in the group at the same time and neither Payne nor Laurence had sung on any of the original hit recordings that they were now singing live. Former Supreme Susaye Greene was also considered for this tour, but refused to audition for the tour. The public and music critics cried foul and were disappointed by both this and the shows' high ticket prices, and, after playing only half of the dates on the itinerary, the tour was cancelled.

A touring group billed as "The Sounds of the Supremes" is a group fronted by Kaaren Ragland. Ragland claims to have been a member of the Supremes from the late 1970s into the 80s; in reality, she was a backing vocalist for Mary Wilson on her solo work following the disbanding of the group.


  • Florence Ballard (1959–1967)
  • Mary Wilson (1959–1977)
  • Diana Ross (1959–1970)
  • Betty McGlown (1959-1960)
  • Barbara Martin (1960-1962)
  • Cindy Birdsong (1967–1972, 1973–1976)
  • Jean Terrell (1970–1973)
  • Lynda Laurence (1972–1973)
  • Scherrie Payne (1973–1977)
  • Susaye Greene (1976–1977)



  • The T.A.M.I. Show (1965) (documentary)
  • Beach Ball (1965)


  • Reflections: The Definitive Performances (1964-1969) (2006)
  • Greatest Hits Live in Amsterdam (2006)
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