Barbara Martin of the Motown group The Supremes has died at the age of 76.
The legendary singer passed away on Wednesday, with the news being confirmed on a Facebook group on Thursday,
Bandmate Mary Wilson paid tribute, writing: ‘Our hearts go out to Barbara’s family and friends. Once a Supreme, always a Supreme.’
Barbara was a member of the singing group from 1960 to 1962, replacing founding member Betty McGlown. She joined the group when they were still named The Primettes.
The Supremes were an American female singing group and a premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s. Florence Ballard, Mary , Diana Ross, and Betty McGlown, made up the original group.
While recording a handful of early singles, none of which became hits, Barbara, Mary, Diana, and Florence worked as studio backing singers, providing vocals and rhythmic effects such as hand claps for Motown’s leading groups.
In October 1961, Martin became pregnant. Her husband supported her decision to stay in the group, but, she left in the early spring of 1962 – leaving the band as a trio.
Tributes have been flooding in for Barbara, with one fan writing: ‘So very sorry to hear this sad news! Love The Supremes! Grew up with them! Rest peacefully dear lady!’
‘Sad news, RIP Barbara. Sincere condolences,’ added another.
Last year, it was reported that a film about The Supremes could be in the works.
‘You know they say Dreamgirls is based on The Supremes but it is nothing to do with us, they just used our history,’ Mary told the Mirror Online. ‘We need a story on The Supremes.
‘Ours is much better than that in terms of the essence of women and what we did in a time when women weren’t even out there.’
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