Founding members Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross and Betty McGlown,all from the Brewster-Douglass public housing project in Detroit, formed The Primettes as the sister act to The Primes (with Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks, who would go on to form The Temptations). Barbara Martin replaced McGlown in 1960, and the group signed with Motown the following year as The Supremes. Martin left the act in early 1962, and Ross, Ballard and Wilson carried on as a trio.
During the mid-1960s, The Supremes achieved mainstream success with Ross as lead singer. In 1967, Motown president Berry Gordy renamed the group Diana Ross & The Supremes and replaced Ballard with Cindy Birdsong. Ross left to pursue a solo career in 1970 and was replaced by Jean Terrell, at which point the group's name returned to The Supremes. After 1972, the lineup of The Supremes changed more frequently; Lynda Laurence, Scherrie Payne and Susaye Greene all became members of the group during the mid-1970s. The Supremes disbanded in 1977 after an eighteen-year run.