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Famous Like Me > Singer > T > Jean Terrell

Profile of Jean Terrell on Famous Like Me

Name: Jean Terrell  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 26th November 1944
Place of Birth: Belzoni, Mississippi
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Jean Terrell (born November 26, 1944 in Belzoni, Mississippi) is an African-American soprano singer, best known for having replaced Diana Ross in the Supremes in 1970.

Terrell is the sister of former WBA heavyweight boxing champion Ernie Terrell. During the 1960s, she sang with her brother in his group, "Ernie Terrell & the Knockouts."

According to Shelley Berger, Syreeta Wright was origially going to replace Diana Ross, but when Berger and Berry Gordy had attended a show of Ernie Terrell's in Miami Beach, Jean was captivating in both looks and vocals. Jean had a voice that could also sounded similar to Diana Ross when she sang which is another reason why she was chosen to continue as lead singer of The Supremes. Terrell's voice could also reach a high soprano range as she dmonstrates in "The Loving Country" and "You gotta Have Love In Your Heart." By this time, Florence Ballard had been long gone and the current lineup was Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong. Also the group had reverted back to the use of the name "The Supremes", while previously being called "Diana Ross and The Supremes" after the departure of Ballard.

Wilson and Birdsong recorded with Terrell by day and toured with Ross each night at the end of 1969. The Terrell-Birdsong-Wilson line-up began a legacy of women that would later become known as the Seventies Supremes. The other three women affiliated in this generation of Supremes were Lynda Laurence, Scherrie Payne, and Susaye Greene.

With Jean Terrell as the lead singer, The Supremes enjoyed several top 20 hits, including "Up the Ladder to the Roof" and "Stoned Love" (both 1970), "Nathan Jones" (1971), and "Floy Joy" (1972). In 1972, Birdsong left to start a family and was replaced by Laurence. Terrell was a member of the group until 1973, when she left for a solo career and to start a family. Laurence left at the same time, marking the first moment there was a departure of two Supremes at the same time. Terrell was eventually replaced by the next lead singer Payne, and Birdsong returned to replace Laurence. In 1978, she landed a solo deal with A&M Records, and released the LP I Had to Fall in Love. Her association with A&M was brief; A&M's plans for Jean conflicted with her devout Jehovah's Witness religion, and she left the label.

She eventually resurfaced in 1987 as a member of the FLOS (Former Ladies of the Supremes), with Lynda Laurence and Scherrie Payne. They recorded a series of singles and albums, and toured overseas as The Supremes. A memorable performance of "How Do You Keep The Music Playing" had all three ladies on lead vocals and Terrell's soprano is distinctly heard toward the breakdown of the song. "Outside Looking In" was also a song that blended Terrell and Payne's voices as Laurence took lead; ironically having two lead singers singing background vocals for a background singer that had become a lead singer. Terrell left FLOS in 1992 to pursue business interests and was replaced by Sundray Tucker (Lynda Laurence's sister); Tucker would be replaced by Freddi Poole in 1996.

Jean Terrell has also released a jazz solo album on the same label as former Supreme Susaye Greene.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Jean Terrell