::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<ref>Bronson, Fred: The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, page 265. Billboard Books, 2003.</ref> with 12 number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100.<ref name="Unterberger" /> 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,<ref name="Unterberger">Unterberger, Richie. "The Supremes". The Supremes have sold over 100 million records to date. Their catalog remains active 50 years later. Allmusic. Retrieved on July 4, 2008.</ref> and their success made it possible for future African American R&B and soul musicians to find mainstream success.<ref name="Unterberger" />

Founding members Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross, and Betty McGlown, all from the Brewster-Douglass public housing project in Detroit,<ref name="Formation">Wilson et al., 29–36.</ref> formed the Primettes as the sister act to the Primes (with Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks, who went on to form the Temptations).<ref name="Formation" /> 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.

During the mid-1960s, the Supremes achieved mainstream success with Ross as lead singer. In 1967, Motown president Berry Gordy renamed the group Diana Ross & the Supremes, and replaced Ballard with Cindy Birdsong. Ross left to pursue a solo career in 1970 and was replaced by Jean Terrell, at which point the group's name reverted to the Supremes. After 1972, the lineup changed more frequently; Lynda Laurence, Scherrie Payne, and Susaye Greene all became members of the group during the mid-1970s. The Supremes disbanded in 1977 after 18 years.

The Supremes sections
Intro   History    Legacy    Personnel    Lineups    Discography    Filmography    Television    Videography    Notes    References    Further reading    External links   

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