DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Florence Ballard (aged 32)
Founding member of the Supremes
Florence Glenda Chapman (née Ballard; June 30, 1943 – February 22, 1976) was an American singer. Ballard was the founding member of the popular Motown vocal female group the Supremes. Ballard sang on 16 top 40 singles with the group, including ten number-one hits. After being removed from the Supremes in 1967, Ballard tried an unsuccessful solo career with ABC Records before she was dropped from the label at the end of the decade.
DEATH: Ballard struggled with alcoholism, depression, and povertyfor three years. She was making an attempt for a musical comeback when she died of a heart attack in February 1976 at the age of 32. Ballard’s death was considered by one critic as “one of rock’s greatest tragedies”. Ballard was posthumously inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Supremes in 1988. Ballard is buried in Detroit Memorial Park Cemetery located in Warren, Michigan.