Founding member Florence “Flo” Ballard Chapman of the legendary group The Supremes is finally getting her just due. From an early age, Ballard aspired to be a singer and agreed to audition for a spot on a sister group of the local Detroit attraction, the Primes, who were managed by Milton Jenkins. After she was accepted, Ballard recruited Mary Wilson to join Jenkins’ group.Wilson, in turn, enlisted another neighbor, Diana Ross. The group ultimately became The Supremes. In 1967 Ballard was fired from the group and replaced by Cindy Birdsong.
For years, Ballards grandson Dejuan “Apple” Chapman (son of Nicole Ballard Chapman) has been lobbying to have a movie made in his late grandmothers honor.
“My grandmother, Florence Ballard, founded The Supremes. She’s the reason Diana Ross is who she is. Not saying she didn’t have talent. She didn’t have the heart. I feel like Berry [Gordy] wanted my grandmother to be some kind of puppet he could control. How you gone change the lead singer?! You wasn’t in the group, they was singing before the deal and Diana was wrong for agreeing to do it. In my grandmother’s YouTube interviews, she said she wanted to share the lead spot, not have it for herself… Says a lot about folks’ character, don’t it?” Chapman told Don Diva Magazine. “My grandmother took a few drinks, had twins and was kicked out the group, but if they were “Berry’s twins,” she would have been lead singer, huh? And to top it off, they all know my mom and aunt are still in the hood. They go make Dreamgirls and make Jennifer Hudson play her, with a different name. Soooo disrespectful, so fuck them! They took too much from my family. It ends now. Now, the tables turn. The people will know and see the truth…. The truth about Florence Ballard’s life and how she helped change music forever” he added.
On Sunday Ballout Boy Films announce that they will be making a fil about Ballard titled In The Name of Love. The movie is in the casting phase and no release date is set. Ballards family is in support of the movie.
On October 13, 2017 Apple will release his first single “Yesterday” off of his album album 7 Miles From The Struggle. The single features his late grandmother.
On February 21, 1976, Ballard entered Mt. Carmel Mercy Hospital, complaining of numbness in her extremities. She died at 10:05 the next morning from cardiac arrest caused by a coronary thrombosis (a blood clot in one of her coronary arteries), at the age of 32. At the time of her death, Ballard was on welfare. All of Ballards family still resides in the inner city of Detroit, Michigan.
Wishing nothing but the best for the Ballard-Chapman family
Florence Ballard and Husband Tommy Chapman
Dejuan Apple Chapman
Nicole Ballard Chapman