On Thursday, March 5, 2020, Mary Wilson, a part of the original Supremes, took to social media to reveal that a fellow member had sadly passed away.
According to a Facebook post by Wilson, Barbara Martin, has died at the age of 76. Martin was one of the original vocalists for The Supremes.
The Motown group shared the post by Wilson on their Facebook page with a message. The Supremes shared the condolences writing: “Our hearts go out to Barbara's family and friends. Once a Supreme, always a Supreme.”
Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross, and Betty McGlown, image shared on January 01, 1958 | Photo: GAB Archive/Redferns/Getty Images
A cause of death for Martin wasn’t revealed at the time her death was announced. The Supremes initially started off as the Primettes, a sister act to the Primes which featured Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks.
The Primes eventually became the Temptations. The Primettes consisted of Florence Ballard, Wilson, Diana Ross, and Betty McGlown.
In 1960, McGlown left and Martin joined the group who signed with Motown the following year as The Supremes.
Martin stayed with them until early 1962, and the three women who were left carried on as a trio. On their first album that came out the same year, “Meet The Supremes,” Martin sang on most of the tracks.
However, she was not featured on the cover art. Rumors at the time said she wasn’t included because she was heavily pregnant.
One of the notable roles that the late singer played was when she sang the lead on the song “After All” in 1961. The song's release was canceled in favor of the radio hit “Buttered Popcorn.”
The Supremes were a hit vocal group that had 12 number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. In the mid-1960s, the group was at their peak and even rivaled the Beatles in worldwide popularity.