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Fri, 15 Dec

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www.therightbuzz.co.uk

The Former Ladies of The Supremes

In early 1976, after original Supremes member Florence Ballard had passed away, it was rumored that former Supremes Jean Terrell and Cindy Birdsong had just contacted Ballard to form a new singing group, but that Ballard's sudden death would quickly cancel their plans.

The Former Ladies of The Supremes
The Former Ladies of The Supremes

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15 Dec 2023, 20:00 GMT

www.therightbuzz.co.uk

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In early 1976, after original Supremes member Florence Ballard had passed away, it was rumored that former Supremes Jean Terrell and Cindy Birdsong had just contacted Ballard to form a new singing group, but that Ballard's sudden death would quickly cancel their plans. In 1985, eight years after the group officially broke up in 1977, former supreme Scherrie Payne was signed to SuperStar International Records, a Los Angeles based record company. Ronnie Phillips and SuperStar approached her with the idea of reforming the Supremes, to which she agreed, and called on Birdsong and original Supreme Mary Wilson. Wilson declined, instead opting to forge a solo career, while Birdsong agreed and coaxed Terrell to join the new Supremes group.

The three of them set about forming a new incarnation of The Supremes, although due to contractual difficulties over the ownership of the name (Mary Wilson was involved in lengthy lawsuits with Motown over ownership and rights to the name) decided to create an entirely new group under the name "FLOS", The Former Ladies of the Supremes. Before the FLOS got off the ground, Birdsong left for a solo career; recording briefly for U.K. based Hi-Hat Records. Former Supreme Lynda Laurence joined the lineup, replacing Cindy Birdsong just as she had in 1972; and in 1986, the group was officially formed. 

The group released the song "We're Back", backed with "Getaway", as 12-inch versions. It featured all three ladies showcasing their vocals with a contemporary pop sound. Because SuperStar International Records did not have national distribution, the song failed to chart and the label soon folded. The group began touring around this time, making their debut at The Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles in 1987. Former Supreme Mary Wilson came along to show support to her former groupmates at this concert. Backing vocals at this concert were provided by Lynda's sister and soon-to-be group member, Sundray Tucker.

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