Florence Ballard (Florence Glenda Ballard)
BiographyDetroit, Michigan, USA
Florence "Flo" Ballard was born and grew up in Detroit in the Brewster-Douglas public housing project for minories, where Diana Ross and Mary Wilson also grew up. The three childhood friends began singing together as the group The Primettes in 1959. The group became known as The Supremes in 1964 when Motown Record president Berry Gordy signed them up, with Flo as the lead singer and Diana and Mary as backups. During the heady times, Diana became the lead singer and Flo, known for her humorous ad libbing, became the backup. Read more... her increased drinking and problems during recordings. Cut off from the group and Motown Records, Flo attempted a solo career but got few bookings. She filed a lawsuit against Mowtown in 1971 for conspiracy to oust her from the Supremes and for failure to accurately report the group's earnings, which disbanded in 1969, but the case was dismissed. Flo moved back to Detroit and begain raising her three daughters on welfare until 1974 where former Supreme Mary Wilson flew her back to Los Angeles for a comback career, but continued to drown her sorrows with pills and alcholic beverages. Flo Ballard died in 1976 when her heart suddenly stopped beating from her long-term depression and effects of her alcholism.