The Supremes – Biography
The Supremes, was formed originally as The Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959. Founding members of this group includes Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross, and Betty McGlown. One year after the formation, The Primettes signed up with Motown Records with their new name The Supremems with Diana Ross as the lead singer.
The Supremes became a great success with Diana Ross in the forefront, and in 1967, Motown president Berry Gordy renamed the group Diana Ross & the Supremes. There were some replacements in the line-up. In 1970, Diana Ross left the group to pursue a successful solo career.
Diana Ross & the Supremes gave their final performance on January 14, 1970 at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas. At the final performance, the replacement for Diana Ross, Jean Terrell, was introduced. According to Mary Wilson, after this performance, Berry Gordy wanted to replace Terrell with Syreeta Wright. Wilson refused, leading to Gordy stating that he was washing his hands of the group thereafter. This claim is also made by Mark Ribowsky.
After the 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.
Though without their famed lead singer, The Supremes still managed to perform exceptionally well throughout the Seventies with their new line-up. Finally after a 18 year run, The Supremes performed their farewell concert at the Drury Lane Theater in London and disbanded on June 12, 1977.