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Florence Ballard
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    (June 30, 1943-February 22, 1976)
    Born in Rosetta, Mississippi
    Member of the Supremes (1959-67)
    She was fired from the Supremes for repeatedly missing concert dates and recording sessions.
    She suffered from depression.
    She drank heavily.
    She ended up on welfare.
    She told an interviewer, 'I had it all. I was a Supreme. Now? Now I have nothing.'
    When she was 17, she was raped at knife point by a friend of her brother.
    According to Mary Wilson, she was the best singer in the Supremes.
    She was relegated to the background when Berry Gordy decided Diana Ross had a more commercial look.
    Her rags to riches to rags story inspired the musical 'Dreamgirls.'
    When Jennifer Hudson won a Golden Globe for 'Dreamgirls,' she dedicated the award to Ballard, who she described as 'a lady who never got a fair chance.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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