Barbara Diane Martin Richardson (June 1, 1943 – March 4, 2020) was an American singer, best known for being one of the original members of Motown group The Supremes. After Betty McGlown left the Primettes due to her upcoming nuptials, Martin replaced her in the group in 1960. She and her group mates, Diana Ross (then known as Diane), Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard, signed a recording contract with Motown founder Berry Gordy on January 15, 1961 as the Supremes, a name that Ballard had chosen (as she was the only group member in the studio at the time) from a list provided by Motown songwriter, Janie Bradford, and became part of the Motown stable of performers.
While recording a handful of early singles, none of which became hits, Martin, Wilson, Ross, and Ballard worked as studio backing singers, providing vocals and rhythmic effects such as hand claps for Motown's leading groups. In October 1961, Martin became pregnant. Her husband supported her decision to stay in the group, but, she left in the early spring of 1962 - leaving Ross, Wilson and Ballard a trio.
Although Martin sang on many of the group's early singles (including a shared lead vocal with Diana Ross on "(He's) Seventeen"), and most of the tracks on the group's first album, Meet The Supremes, she is not pictured on the album's cover.
She never spoke publicly about her tenure with the Primettes/Supremes. She denied interviews over the years with the exception of one interview she gave in 2009 for the 2010 release of "Meet the Supremes: Expanded Edition".
Martin died in March 2020 at the age of 76.
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