a US female pop group. They formed in 1959 in Detroit as The Primettes. The original members were Diana Ross, Mary Wilson (1944– ) and Florence Ballard (1943–76). They joined Motown(2) Records in 1960, became The Supremes, and had such hits as Baby Love (1964) and Stop! In the Name of Love (1965). Ross left in 1970 and the group continued with different singers until 1976.

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U.S. pop-soul vocal trio.

The original Supremes
Diana Ross (byname of Diane Earle; b. 1944), Mary Wilson (b. 1944), and Florence Ballard (1943–76)
began recording for Motown (as The Primettes) on graduating from high school in Detroit, Mich. Their long string of Motown hits in the mid-1960s, many written by Brian and Eddie Holland and Lamont Dozier, began with "Where Did Our Love Go?" and included "Baby Love" and "Stop! In the Name of Love." In 1966 Ballard was replaced with Cindy Birdsong (b. 1939). Ross left the Supremes in 1969, and Wilson left in 1977. Ballard died in relative poverty of cardiac arrest. Ross's highly successful solo career included film roles (notably in Lady Sings the Blues, 1972) and a free 1983 Central Park concert that drew an audience of record-setting size.

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Universalium. 2010.

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