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Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (8)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 30 June 1943Detroit, Michigan, USA
Date of Death 22 February 1976Detroit, Michigan, USA  (coronary thrombosis)
Birth NameFlorence Glenda Ballard
Nicknames Flo
Blondie
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

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. But late in 1967, Flo was fired from The Supremes for 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.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Matthew Patay <pataygs@voicenet.com>

Spouse (1)

Thomas Chapman (29 February 1968 - 22 February 1976) (her death) (3 children)

Trivia (8)

Elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of The Supremes) in 1988.
Cousin of Hank Ballard.
Ranked #16 on VH1's Greatest Women of Rock N Roll
At the time of her death Ballard was actually on the verge of a very successful comeback. After winning a settlement from a slip-and-fall incident in which she had broken her leg, Ballard took the money and used it to put herself through a successful rehab and got herself back into shape. On June 25, 1975, she performed in Detroit as a part of the Joan Little Defense League at the Henry and Edsel Ford Auditorium, backed by the female rock group 'The Deadly Nightshade', to a highly receptive crowd. She sang Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman", and when the audience wanted an encore - a The Supremes encore - Ballard sang "Come See About Me". Soon after she received offers for recording contracts, interviews and appearances. She also performed on television, including a fairly candid conversation about her past and hoped future during an appearance on the local Detroit TV talk show, "The David Diles Show".
The Effie White character from the Broadway play (and film) "Dreamgirls" is loosely based on Ballard. When Jennifer Hudson won the Golden Globe for her performance as Effie in the film version (Dreamgirls (2006)), she dedicated the award to Ballard, describing her as "a lady who never got a fair chance".
The Supremes were awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 7060 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Sister of Maxine Ballard.
Has three daughters Michelle, Nicole, and Lisa.

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