FLORENCE BALLARD (DOWN & OUT)

Florence Ballard was the most approachable of the Supremes and a fan favorite. This big hearted celebrity often took her fans to lunch and gave them albums and tickets.

It's speculated that her chronic depression and alcoholism was brought on by a devastating incident that happened in 1960, when she was 17.

She was raped at knife point by one of her brother's friends. She was able to identify her attacker in a police lineup and he was eventually convicted and sent to prison. Flo never got over this terrifying ordeal.

After the Supremes achieved success, they all moved out of the projects and bought homes on the same street in Detroit. Flo's home was located directly across from Diana Ross'.

After she was kicked out of the Supremes, the house would be boarded up and go through foreclosure. Sadly, Flo would trek there sometimes late at night to perform on the front steps, holding an empty liquor bottle as her makeshift microphone.

Source: "All That Glittered," by Tony Turner

 

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