Before Destiny’s Child, TLC, or any of those other era-defining all-woman vocal groups topped the charts and captivated our imaginations, there was The Supremes.
Part of the chaotic and legendary Motown machine, The Supremes were the label’s most commercially successful act throughout the 1960s. Despite ongoing lineup changes and the emphasis Motown’s leaders put on future-superstar Diana Ross over the group’s other members, The Supremes commanded the world’s attention for their powerhouse voices and tight musicality.
On this day in 1966, while black artists were still struggling to achieve the same fame as the white ones who were copying their sound, the group cemented their position in music history when their ninth album, “The Supremes A’-Go-Go,” knocked The Beatles’ “Revolver” off the Billboard Top 200. With that, The Supremes became the group made up entirely of women to reach number one in their home country, dethroning the reigning British gods in the process.
Today, The Supremes are still America’s vocal group with the most chart success, with 12 Billboard Hot 100-topping singles to their name. And Diana Ross, who started her solo career four years after this success, became one of music history’s most iconic vocalists and personalities. More importantly, the group paved the way for African-American artists in every subsequent era to make their mark on pop culture.
In honor of this Throwback Thursday, listen to the album’s two classic singles below.