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Former Supremes

The Former Ladies of the Supremes, (often shortened to "FLOS"), is a singing group that was formed by former Supremes members Jean Terrell , Lynda Laurence and Scherrie Payne , in 1986. Singers Sundray Tucker, Freddi Poole and Joyce Vincent have also sung with the group, with Vincent in the group's current lineup have joined the trio between the 1980's, and the present, although neither since that initial line-up have been official members of The Supremes.

The BeginningEdit

Scherrie, John, Cindy, Jayne
In 1985, eight years after the Supremes officially broke up in 1977, Scherrie Payne, the third and final Supremes lead singer, was signed to the Los Angeles-based "Superstar International Records." Superstar approached her with the idea of reforming the Supremes, to which she agreed, and called on former Supremes Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong. Wilson declined, instead opting to continue with her solo career. Meanwhile Birdsong agreed and coaxed former Supreme Jean Terrell to join the new Supremes group. The three of them set about forming a new incarnation of The Supremes, although due to contractual difficulties over the ownership of the name (Mary Wilson was involved in lengthy lawsuits with Motown over ownership and rights to the name) decided to create an entirely new group under the name "FLOS", The Former Ladies of the Supremes. Before the FLOS got off the ground, Birdsong left for a solo career recording briefly for U.K. based Hi-Hat Records. Former Supreme Lynda Laurence joined the lineup, replacing Cindy Birdsong just as she had in 1972; and in 1986, the group was officially formed. The group released the song "We're Back", backed with "Getaway", as 12-inch versions. It featured all three ladies showcasing their vocals with a contemporary pop sound. The group began touring around this time, making their debut at "The Wilshire Ebell Theatre" in Los Angeles in 1987. Former Supreme Mary Wilson came along to show support to her former groupmates at this concert. Backing vocals at this concert were provided by Lynda's sister and soon-to-be group member, Sundray Tucker.

"Jean, Scherrie & Lynda of The Supremes": The Motorcity YearsEdit

Scherrie Jean Lynda
In 1989 the FLOS signed to British producer Ian Levine's Motorcity Records project, joining a roster of former Motown artists. The first single by the FLOS on the new label was an original tune called "Crazy about the Guy" released that summer, and featuring Jean on lead vocals. This single, together with all releases by the group on the Motorcity Records label ran the credit as "Jean, Scherrie & Lynda Formerly of The Supremes." The follow-up single was a re-make of the classic Supremes hit "Stoned Love" which saw Scherrie and Jean splitting lead vocal duties. The b-side contained a live version of "Crazy about the Guy". The next single, "I Want to Be Loved," showcased the lead vocals of all three ladies. Its b-side contained two remixes of the track. The final single for Motorcity, the Lynda-led "Hit & Miss" was released in 1991 and the ladies were credited as 'The Supremes' and all of their back catalogue of recordings made for Motorcity are marketed as just 'The Supremes' since then. The ladies also released a single with label-mates "The Originals," titled "Back By Popular Demand." Laurence has stated that this was one of her favorite songs on the Motorcity label. An album called "Bouncing Back" was scheduled for release, but was shelved due to financial difficulties with the label. The album eventually was released by various different labels. One song scheduled for inclusion on the album was "How Do You Keep The Music Playing" which has since become a staple of the group's live act.

The Former Ladies of The Supremes {1992-1996}Edit

Sundray Scherrie Lynda
The FLOS' lineup changed in late December 1992, when Jean Terrell left and was replaced by Lynda's sister Sundray Tucker. Sundray made her concert debut with the group on a tour of Japan in March of 1993. Several shows from the tour were recorded but have not been released. One track taken from this tour, "Sukiyaki", saw release on the limited edition album "Something Special," produceed by Steve Weaver in 1998. The CD featured several tracks by the group, as well as solo tracks by both Lynda and Cindy Birdsong.) In 1994, The FLOS released their first studio album with Sundray Tucker onboard. The resulting "Supreme Voices," featured all three ladies taking lead vocal duties. Scherrie, Lynda & Sundray shared lead vocals on three songs, "Give Me the Night", a remake of the George Benson classic hit; a remake of their 1970's Supremes hit, "Up The Ladder To The Roof", which featured guest vocals by former Supreme Cindy Birdsong; and "How Do You Keep The Music Playing". The following year another CD produced by Steve Weaver was released entitled "Supremely Yours." Following on the same format as the previous album, all three ladies would have equal number of lead vocals and they'd also share lead vocals on three songs "Stop to Love", "Feel Like Making Love" and another '70s Supremes classic "Touch". Steve recorded over 40 songs with the ladies, most of them now released. Later in 1995, the ladies were invited to perform with Mel Carter at an engagement, which was recorded and released as "Mel Carter: Live In Hollywood" and this was released as a CD and DVD.

The Former Ladies of The Supremes {1996-2009}Edit

Scherrie Lynda Freddi
Sundray remained with the group for four years, contributing to several albums and establishing herself with fans before being replaced by powerhouse vocalist, Freddi Poole in the summer of 1996, Sundray left the trio and Jean Terrell made a brief comeback to the group, reuniting with both Scherrie Payne and Lynda Laurence for two special concerts held at the Industry Cafe in Los Angeles. This reunion coincided with the recruitment of Freddi Poole in July 1996. Poole, an established singer, had worked with the likes of Patti Labelle, Gladys Knight and Sammy Davis Jr. With her powerhouse vocals, Freddi lit up the stage with her leads on "You Can't Hurry Love," and the group's renditions of Aretha Franklin's "Respect" and "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman." With Poole in tow, the trio began releasing singles again. In 2001, they released "Light The World (With The Flame of Love)" exclusively in Europe. Meanwhile, 2006 saw the release of a new dance single, on the Rick Gianatos productions banner. Co-written by Scherrie, the song was entitled "Sisters United (We're Taking Control)," and it peaked at #2 on perfectbeat.com's music chart. It was also with Poole that the ladies took part in "The Dreamgirls Dance Project;" a various artists compilation of dance-oriented versions of songs from "Dreamgirls" (the film version of which had just been released in December of 2006.)

Scherrie Payne & Lynda Laurence formerly of The SupremesEdit

Joyce, Scherrie, Lynda
On September 29, 2009, it was reported on Scherrie and Lynda's website that long-time member Freddi Poole had left the group, and that she had been replaced by singer, Joyce Vincent of "Tony Orlando & Dawn." It is notable that when Mary Wilson left The Supremes in 1977, Joyce Vincent had been chosen by remaining Supremes, Scherrie Payne and Susaye Greene to replace her. While Motown had terminated the group at that point, Joyce now got a chance to let her inner Supreme shine. Making her stage debut with Lynda and Scherrie in a Spanish engagemtn on October 3, 2009, Joyce has now been a member of the group for two years, touring such places as England, Finland, and Amsterdam.

Keep The Music PlayingEdit

In 2000, Scherrie Payne and Lynda Laurence joined Diana Ross, and toured on the brief and later cancelled Return To Love tour. The Ladies made TV appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, VH1 Divas Live, and The View. In 2001 The FLOS recorded "Light the World (With the Flame of Love)." The lyrics were written by Scherrie and Lynda. The trio performed the anthem at the Small Country Olympics opening ceremony in Italy the same year. In 2005 The FLOS' were honored by the Hollywood History Museum. The musueum presented an exhibit showcasing the Ladies contribution to The Supremes' legacy and their FLOS' history. Scherrie and Lynda donated stage gowns and shoes from their personal collection for the display along with photos, record albums, tour books, and posters.

In July, 2006, "Sisters United (We're Taking Control)" was debuted at the group's twentieth anniversary concert at The Music Box in Hollywood. Scherrie and Lynda honored all of the Ladies who contributed to the recording and performing success of the Supremes (Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, Cindy Birdsong, Jean Terrell, Lynda Laurence, Scherrie Payne, and Susaye Greene - however they forgot to include Betty McGlown and Barbara Martin, original members from the early years before the group's success). They presented the Ladies with personalized trophies. In attendance were former Supremes Cindy Birdsong and Susaye Greene, and former FLOS' member Sundray Tucker. September 2006 saw the group depart for a tour of Australia. In January 2009, Scherrie Payne and Lynda Laurence (with Poole) rang in the 2009 New Year in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia. In August 2009, the Former Ladies released "Good Intentions", a song produced by Lynda's son Trevor Lawrence and written by Lynda's daughter in-law, Alicia Lawrence. The song is available exclusively through iTunes. In October 2009, Joyce Vincent joined Scherrie Payne and Lynda Laurence, formerly of The Supremes. In November 2009 The Ladies performed in the Diva's of Motown show in the UK alongside Thelma Houston, Brenda Holloway, Mable John, Chris Clark and Jack Ashford's Funk Brothers. In February 2010 The Ladies performed at the Second Aid benefit concert for Hiati in Losa Angeles, CA. That same month Scherrie Payne and Lynda Laurence, Formerly of The Supremes, were honored by the AV Black Chamber of Commerce for Black history Month.

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