Florence Ballard: Age 33 | Cause Of Death: POOR MAINTENANCE

Florence Ballard

The Supremes

(b. 30 June 1942, Detroit, Michigan, USA, d. 22 February 1976)

In her teens, Ballard formed the vocal group the Primettes with school friends Mary Wilson and Betty Travis. Diana Ross completed the line-up in 1960.  Unhappy with her diminishing role in the Supremes, she repeatedly complained to Gordy and his executives, and the resulting friction led to her being ousted from the group in 1967.  By the early ’70s, Florence was living in extreme poverty in a Detroit housing project. Her reliance on a lethal cocktail of alcohol and diet pills had weakened her health, and in February 1976 her tragic career ended when she suffered a cardiac arrest.