(Note: This covers The Supremes with Diana Ross as lead singer, and all songs with her on lead are credited to “Diana Ross & The Supremes”)
The Supremes were an American female singing group and the premier act of Motown during the 1960s.
The group came together as The Primettes in Detroit, in 1959, with Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross, and Betty McGlown as its founding members. They were initially the sister act to The Primes (with Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks, who went on to form The Temptations). Barbara Martin replaced Betty McGlown in 1960, and the group signed with Motown the following year as The Supremes. Barbara Martin left in 1962, and Ross, Ballard, and Wilson carried on as a trio.
Despite a few initial years of little success (they were known around Motown in their early days as “The No-Hit Supremes”) they became 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 which 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 their success allowed future African American R&B/soul artists to find mainstream success.
Florence Ballard was fired in 1967 and replaced with Cindy Birdsong, and the group was renamed Diana Ross & The Supremes. Diana Ross left the group in 1970 for a solo career and they continued to record as The Supremes (under various line-ups) without her until 1977.
- Diana Ross (1959-70)
- Mary Wilson (1959-77)
- Florence Ballard (1959-67)
- Betty McGlown (1959-60)
- Barbara Martin (1960-62)
Marvellous Motown currently recommends thirteen songs by Diana Ross & The Supremes – click on the link above for our archive or click on a specific song below: