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The Smooth Late Show with Martin Collins 10pm - 1am
17 March 2022, 19:39
Martha Reeves is one of the greatest soul singers of all time, thanks to her time with The Vandellas and her successful solo career.
Here's a handy guide to the legendary artist, from her biggest songs to her family:
Martha Reeves is an American soul singer, and is the lead singer of the Motown girl group Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.
They scored many hit singles, including 'Come and Get These Memories', 'Nowhere to Run', 'Heat Wave', 'Jimmy Mack', and their signature tune 'Dancing In The Street'.
From 2005 to 2009, she also served as an elected councilwoman for the city of Detroit, Michigan.
Martha Reeves was born on July 18, 1941. She celebrated her 80th birthday in 2021.
She was born in Eufaula, Alabama, and was the first daughter of Elijah Joshua Reeves and Ruby Lee Gilmore Reeves.
She was also the third of the couple's 11 children.
The Vandellas were originally called The Del-Phis, with Gloria Williams as the lead singer.
In 1962, Williams left the group and Martha took over lead vocals. The group was renamed Martha and the Vandellas, alongside Rosalind Ashford-Holmes and Annette Beard-Helton.
Helton was replaced by Betty Kelly in 1964, who was then herself replaced by Lois Reeves (Martha's sister) in 1967.
The current lineup of the Vandellas (since 2010) is Martha, Lois and their sister Delphine.
There is also another group called The Original Vandellas, comprising of former members Holmes and Helton, alongside Roschelle Laughhunn.
In 1967, Martha married a man named Wiley in Las Vegas, after a nine-month affair. The marriage soon ended in divorce.
After a short romance with a man named Gerald, Martha gave birth to a son named Eric in November 1970.
In the early 1970s, her second marriage to Willie Dee, was also met with divorce soon after.