Florence Ballard Funeral Video

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Florence Glenda Ballard was born in Detroit, Michigan on June 30, 1943 to Lurlee (née Wilson) and Jesse Ballard, as the ninth of fifteen children. Her siblings were Bertie, Cornell, Jesse, Jr. , Gilbert, Geraldine, Barbara, Maxine, Billy, Calvin, Pat, Linda and Roy. Her mother was a resident of Rosetta, Mississippi. Her father was born Jesse Lambert in Bessemer, Alabama; after his grandmother was shot and killed, he was adopted by the Ballard family. Jesse Ballard left his adoptive parents at 13, and soon engaged in an affair with Ballard's mother, who was only 14, in Rosetta. The Ballards moved to Detroit in 1929. Jesse soon worked at General Motors. Jesse, an amateur musician, helped instigate Florence's interest in singing; he taught her various songs and accompanied her on guitar. Financial difficulties forced the Ballard family to move to different Detroit neighborhoods; by the time Florence turned 15 they had settled at Detroit's Brewster-Douglass housing projects, and the next year Jesse Lambert Ballard died of cancer.