Florence Glenda Ballard was born in Rosetta, MS, June 30, 1943, the ninth of 15 siblings. The family moved to Detroit before she turned ten to take advantage of the city's booming job market. Ballard took music classes, sang in her school's choir, and built a reputation as a talented singer in her neighborhood. At 14, she befriended the Primes (Paul Williams, Eddie Kendricks, and Kell Osborne) and performed a few gigs with the smooth, silky trio at Detroit venues. The Primes' manager, Milton Jenkins, encouraged Ballard to form a sister group to the Primes, so she chose Mary Wilson, Betty McGlown, and Diane Earle (Diana Ross). All sang lead, but McGlown left early and was replaced by Barbara Martin. Wilson had the lowest voice; Ballard, the most demonstrative; and Earle, the highest with a razor edge.