1976 – Florence Ballard of the Supremes dies of cardiac arrest. Age 32. Ballard was cut from the group in 1967 following such No. 1 hits as “Baby Love,” “Stop! In the Name of Love” and “You Can’t Hurry Love.”
Florence Glenda Ballard Chapman, nicknamed “Flo” or “Blondie”, (June 30, 1943 – February 22, 1976) was an American singer, and one of the original lead singers of the Motown act The Supremes.
By 1967, both Ballard’s and her band mate Mary Wilson’s importance diminished within The Supremes as Diana Ross was spotlighted as the group’s focal point. Ballard suffered from chronic depression and alcoholism, leading her to be dismissed from the Supremes in July 1967 and replaced by Cindy Birdsong. After an unsuccessful attempt at a solo career in the late 1960s, Ballard spent much of the last five years of her life in poverty before dying in 1976 at the age of thirty-two. Ballard has been referred to by music journalist Richie Unterberger as “one of rock’s greatest tragedies”