Florence Ballard Net Worth
Florence Ballard had an estimated net worth of $400 Thousand at the time of her death. Singer Florence Ballard formed The Supremes in 1961 with childhood friends Mary Wilson and Diana Ross. She sang on 16 different Top 40 hits. She earned most of her income from album sales and concerts.
Singer Florence Ballard rose to fame in the 1960s as a member of the Supremes, a group she formed with childhood friends Mary Wilson and Diana Ross. She sang on 16 different Top 40 hits, but left the group in 1967 after a dispute with Motown Records. She died on February 22, 1976 in Detroit, Michigan, at the age of only 32.
To calculate the net worth of Florence Ballard, subtract all her liabilities from her total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity she has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.
Here’s the breakdown of her net worth:
|Net Worth:||$400 Thousand|
|Monthly Salary:||$10 Thousand|
|Annual Income:||$200 Thousand|
|Source of Wealth:||Singer|
Early Life and Career
Florence Ballard was born on June 30, 1943, in Detroit, Michigan. Ballard, the ninth child in a large family, and her large family moved around frequently among different public housing projects before settling down in the Brewster-Douglass Projects in 1958. Ballard began singing in the church choir at a young age. Ballard, nicknamed “Blondie” because of her auburn hair and mixed racial heritage, befriended a neighbor named Mary Wilson after competing against her in several local talent shows.
At a talent show, Milton Jenkins of The Primes (a singing group that would later become The Temptations) was recruiting girls to audition for an all-female quartet when he was impressed by Ballard’s singing style. After outperforming herself at the audition, Jenkins tasked Ballard with finding new members for The Primes’ new sister group, The Primettes.
Ballard immediately invited her good friend Mary Wilson, who in turn invited another neighborhood friend, Diane Earle, later known as Diana Ross, to the party. Betty McGlown joined the quartet soon after. (McGlown left the group in 1962, and Barbara Martin took her place.) When Martin left the band, Ballard, Wilson, and Ross decided to stick together as a trio.)
Suffered Major Trauma
In the summer of 1960, a 17-year-old Ballard was involved in a tragic incident that permanently altered her personality and shifted her previously positive outlook on life to a mistrust and fear of strangers.
Ballard was separated from her brother Billy after leaving a sock hop at Detroit’s Graystone Ballroom one warm summer night and accepted a ride home from a young man she thought she recognized, a local high-school basketball player. Instead of being driven home, Ballard was driven north of Detroit to an empty parking lot, where she was raped at knifepoint by a man.
For the next few weeks, Ballard kept herself hidden from the public eye, even from her befuddled bandmates, who had no idea what had happened. Ballard finally told her friends what had happened to her.
Although the girls were sympathetic, they were perplexed by Ballard’s new behavior; she had always been a headstrong, unflappable character, but there had been a noticeable shift in her persona. Wilson would later attribute Ballard’s adult personality and subsequent self-destructive behavior to the assault she endured as a teen.
Signing With Motown Records
The Primettes never officially designated anyone as the lead vocalist, so the group would frequently sing in unison or swap roles as lead singer among the trio. After a few years of performing at sock hops and jubilees, the group signed with Motown Records on January 15, 1961, as The Supremes, a name chosen by Ballard. Ballard was 17 years old when she sang lead vocals on the hit “Buttered Popcorn.”
Her voice was so powerful on the track that studio engineers asked her to stand 17 feet away from the microphone. During this time, Ballard also filled in for the Marvelettes’ Wanda Young, who was on maternity leave. (Before recording “Please Mr. Postman,” The Marvelettes’ lead singer, Gladys Horton, sought Ballard’s advice.)
Despite having a powerful and soulful voice, Ballard never sang lead on another 45 single for the group. Ross was named lead singer of The Supremes by Berry Gordy in 1963.
Throughout her Supremes career, Ballard did sing lead vocals on several album tracks. The second verses of “It Makes No Difference Now” from The Supremes Sing Country Western And Pop and “Ain’t That Good News” from We Remember Sam Cooke, as well as the Christmas songs “Silent Night” and “O Holy Night,” were among the most famous.
Leaving The Supremes
Over the next few years, Ballard’s relationship with Gordy grew increasingly strained as the all-powerful Motown mogul sought to make Ross the star of The Supremes. Ballard had begun to retaliate by skipping scheduled public appearances and studio sessions by the time Gordy renamed the act Diana Ross and The Supremes in 1967.
Her final performance with the legendary trio was in Las Vegas in June 1967, when Gordy replaced her with vocalist Cindy Birdsong. The Detroit Free Press reported in August of that year that she was taking a leave of absence from The Supremes to recover from “exhaustion.” Gordy had actually kicked her out of the group.
In February 1968, Ballard married a Motown chauffeur named Thomas Chapman and quickly hired him as her new manager after leaving the label. Ballard’s ABC Records singles “It Doesn’t Matter How I Say It (It’s What I Say That Matters)” and “Love Ain’t Love” failed to chart. Ballard’s ABC album was canceled, sending her musical career into a tailspin.
Ballard also ran into financial difficulties after hiring an alleged embezzler as her business attorney; she later sued him for money owed after discovering he was skimming off the top of her earnings. To make matters worse, stipulations in Ballard’s new contract with ABC prohibited her from mentioning her previous membership in The Supremes for promotional purposes or marketing any of her albums.
Ballard gave birth to twin daughters Michelle and Nicole Chapman in October 1968. Lisa, her third child, was born in 1971. However, her personal problems persisted, as Thomas left Ballard later that year, causing her home to go into foreclosure. Ballard’s financial problems grew worse when she refused to return to the stage. With three young daughters at home and no income, she was eventually forced to apply for welfare.
Ballard’s unlucky streak began in 1975, when her former attorney’s office settled an insurance dispute with her. She was able to use the settlement to buy a small house for herself and her three children. Ballard reconciled with her estranged husband as well.
She began performing again with the female rock band The Deadly Nightshade, fueled by a resurgence of energy. Following her return to the music industry, Ballard was scheduled for several television and magazine interviews and began looking for ways to relaunch her career.
Tragic events occurred just as Ballard’s life appeared to be turning around. She was admitted to Detroit’s Mt. Carmel Mercy Hospital on February 21, 1976. According to the examiners, she died the next day of a blood clot in one of her coronary arteries. She was only 32 at the time.
Over the years, questions have been raised about the cause of Ballard’s death, with her sister Maxine Ballard Jenkins alleging foul play. Ballard’s brief life was fraught with disappointment and sadness. Her contribution to music, particularly as a member of The Supremes, brought joy to fans worldwide. Ballard sang on 16 different Top 40 hits; she, Ross, and Wilson wowed the world with their talent and style, inspiring millions of people.
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