(Note: This covers The Supremes without Diana Ross, and all songs are credited to “The Supremes”)
The Supremes were an all-female singing group signed to Motown.
Diana Ross had been the lead singer of the group (renamed as Diana Ross & The Supremes) but left for a solo career in 1970. The group, now rechristened as The Supremes (sometimes known as The New Supremes, later known as The ’70s Supremes) continued to record and release material without her.
Jean Terrell took over as Diana Ross’ successor and lead singer. The group (consisting of Jean, original member Mary Wilson, and Cindy Birdsong at this point) would never recreate the success of the previous decade but would rack up an impressive string of hits in the UK. Frank Wilson helped the renewed group with their first successes, followed by Smokey Robinson, who returned the group to a mid-1960s sound.
Cindy Birdsong left in 1972 to start a family and was replaced by Lynda Laurence (formerly of Stevie Wonder’s backing group The Third Generation, which became Wonderlove). Jean Terrell was dismayed by poor promotion (following Motown’s relocation and growing interest in the film industry) and left in 1973, to be replaced by Scherrie Payne. Lynda Laurence left that same year and was replaced by a returning Cindy Birdsong. Supremes’ releases slowed down by this point, although they remained a popular live act.
Cindy Birdsong left (again) and her place was taken by former Wonderlove member Susaye Greene. After numerous 1970s albums and singles – for which original member Mary Wilson remained – the group disbanded in 1977.
In 1986, Jean Terrell, Scherrie Payne and Lynda Laurence began to perform as The FLOS: Former Ladies of the Supremes. They recorded for the Motown revival label Motorcity Records as Jean, Scherrie & Lynda Formerly of The Supremes. Jean Terrell left the group in 1972 and was replaced by her sister Sundray Tucker. They recorded a remake of “Stoned Love” and some original material. Original Supreme Mary Wilson recorded briefly as a solo artist for Motown in 1980, and went on to perform in musical theatre throughout the 1980s. She also cut a couple of singles for Ian Levine, and remains active today.
- Mary Wilson (1959–77)
- Cindy Birdsong (1967–72, 1973–76)
- Jean Terrell (1970–73)
- Lynda Laurence (1972–73)
- Scherrie Payne (1973–77)
- Susaye Greene (1976–77)
The Marvels of The Supremes
- UP THE LADDER TO THE ROOF
- STONED LOVE
- FLOY JOY
- AUTOMATICALLY SUNSHINE
- BAD WEATHER