One of the original vocalists for The Supremes, Barbara Martin, has passed away at the age of 76. The Detroit native's death was announced by the band's official Facebook page, according to The Daily Mail. While not a founding member, Martin Martin joined the group back in 1960, replacing founding member Betty McGlown back when they were still The Primettes.
The group signed with Motown back in 1961, and in 1962 debut album, Meet The Supremes, was released. The album featured Martin's lead vocals on most of the songs, though she was not omitted from the cover art, which is believed to be because she was heavily pregnant at the time. Her tenure with the group ended in the spring of that same year, though her husband allegedly supported her decision to stay in the group.
While a quartet at the time, Martin was never replaced, as the group became a trio. The three also became the group's most well-known lineup, Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson.
After exiting the group, Martin exited entirely from public life. She only gave one interview back in 2009, which was for the upcoming release of the box set, Meet the Supremes: Expanded Edition.
Martin's former bandmate, Diana Ross, however, has very much remained in the public eye after a successful solo career after leaving the group herself in 1968. In May of last year, she made headlines after claiming that a TSA agent "violated" her while traveling through New Orleans.0comments
"OK so on one hand I’m treated like royalty in New Orleans and at the airport I was treated like s–," the singer tweeted at the time. "Let me be clear, not the [people] or Delta BUT TSA was over the top!! Makes me want to cry!!! [It's] not what was done but how I am feeling violated -- I still feel her hands between my legs, front and back (saying to me it [was] her job), WOW!! Really mixed emotions I always like to see the good things but not feeling good right now."
After Ross's tweets went viral, TSA spokesman Mark Howell told USA Today that the "TSA is committed to ensuring all travelers are treated with respect and courtesy. TSA is aware of concerns presented by Diana Ross about her screening experience at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport this morning."