Portal:The Supremes

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The Supremes were an American female singing group and the premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s. Founded as The Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959, the Supremes were the most commercially successful of Motown's acts and are, to date, America's most successful vocal group with 12 number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. Most of these hits were written and produced by Motown's main songwriting and production team, Holland–Dozier–Holland. At their peak in the mid-1960s, the Supremes rivaled the Beatles in worldwide popularity, and it is said that their success made it possible for future African American R&B and soul musicians to find mainstream success.

Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross, and Betty McGlown, the original group, are all from the Brewster-Douglass public housing project in Detroit. They formed the Primettes as the sister act to the Primes (with Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks, who went on to form the Temptations). Barbara Martin replaced McGlown in 1960, and the group signed with Motown the following year as the Supremes. Martin left the act in early 1962, and Ross, Ballard, and Wilson carried on as a trio.

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Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever was a 1983 television special produced by Suzanne de Passe for Motown Records, to commemorate Motown's twenty-fifth year of existence. (Motown was founded in January 1959, meaning that a twenty-fifth anniversary special should have aired in 1984, not 1983. One could argue that Gordy's vision of what would become "Hitsville U.S.A." was conceived in 1958, considering the month of Motown's founding). The program was taped before a live studio audience at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California on March 25, 1983, and broadcast on NBC on May 16. Among its highlights were Michael Jackson's iconic performance of "Billie Jean", a Temptations/Four Tops "battle of the bands", Marvin Gaye's inspired speech about black music history and his memorable performance of "What's Going On", a Jackson 5 reunion, and an abbreviated reunion of Diana Ross & the Supremes, who performed their final #1 hit, "Someday We'll Be Together" from 1969.

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Florence Glenda Ballard Chapman (June 30, 1943 – February 22, 1976), nicknamed "Flo" and "Blondie", was an American singer, and one of the original founders of the Hall of Fame Motown group The Supremes. During their early years, members of The Supremes (originally called The Primettes) enjoyed a generally democratic distribution of leads on songs. However, by 1966, Ballard and Mary Wilson had begun to feel ignored in the group as Motown President Berry Gordy, Jr. spotlighted Diana Ross's individual career.

Consequent discontent led Ballard to chronic depression and alcoholism, factors that weighed heavily in Gordy's decision to permanently dismiss Ballard from The Supremes in July 1967. Her replacement was former Bluebelle Cindy Birdsong. After an unsuccessful attempt at a solo career in the late 1960s, Ballard spent much of the last five years of her life in relative poverty, attempting to avoid media attention while suing the various parties involved in her dismissal from Motown.

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"Baby Love" is a 1964 number-one hit recorded by The Supremes for the Motown label. Written and produced by Motown's main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland, "Baby Love," one of the most popular songs of the late 20th century, was the Supremes' most successful single. The song was ranked #324 on Rolling Stone 's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It was the number-one song on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for four weeks, from October 25, 1964 to November 21, 1964.

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The Supremes at the Copa is a live album by Motown singing group The Supremes, recorded during their debut engagement at the prestigious Copacabana nightclub in New York City. Released in the late fall of 1965, At the Copa was the first live album issued by The Supremes, and the only live album issued by the group's best-known lineup of Diana Ross, Florence Ballard, and Mary Wilson. The Supremes were, following Sammy Davis, Jr. and Sam Cooke, among the first African-American entertainers to appear at the Copa.

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