Musician Biographies » The Supremes » Three Kids from Detroit - The Brewster Projects, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, Diane Ross, Getting It Together

Three Kids from Detroit - Florence Ballard

mary ballards family children

Florence Ballard was born on June 30, 1943, in Detroit. She was the eighth of thirteen children born to her parents, Jesse and Lurlee Ballard. Like the Wilson family, the Ballards had moved to Detroit from Mississippi. Jesse Ballard worked in an automobile factory and Lurlee ran the busy household full of kids. For many years, the Ballards lived in a large house near the Brewster Projects. After Lurlee gave birth to her last child, the Ballards moved, joining the Brewster Projects community.

Once Mary and Flo became friends in junior high school, Mary spent a lot of time hanging out at the Ballard household. In her autobiography, Mary Wilson recalled that the Ballard family was a very close one. In such a large family, there was a big age difference between the oldest and youngest children, but they all pitched in and shared everything in their busy home. Like Mary, Flo grew up listening to the music that her parents played. Her father, Jesse, was a gifted singer and guitar player, and he taught his children to sing. Flo loved to sing. She sang songs from the radio with her friends and sang in school choirs. As Flo grew older, people recognized her talent. She was known for having a strong, soulful voice.

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