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Tuesday, 11 July, 2000, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
Supremes 'reunion' in turmoil
Supremes
Diana Ross is the only original member on the Supremes tour
The future of the Supremes' "reunion" tour has been plunged into confusion, with Diana Ross saying it has been cancelled and promoters insisting it will carry on.

Ross issued a statement saying she was "severely disappointed" by the organisers' decision to pull the plug and would try to get the show back on the road.

But a spokeswoman for promoters SFX stressed the tour would go ahead as scheduled.

Just over half of the planned 23 concerts have been completed and the large number of empty seats was said to have prompted organisers to cut their losses.

Supremes
There's no mistaking who's the biggest star of the group

SFX earlier confirmed that shows in New York, Washington and Pittsburgh had been cancelled.

But company spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg told New York's Daily News all the other dates would go ahead.

Ross, though, was adamant the rug had been pulled from under her.

In a statement issued through her publicist, the 56-year-old performer said: "I am severely disappointed that SFX have decided to cancel the remainder of the tour.

"I was very much looking forward to performing for our fans... I promised our fans that I would be there for them and I will find a way to reconnect with them as soon as possible."

Lowest point

The lowest point of the tour came in Columbus, Ohio on 20 June, when there were fewer than 3,000 people in a 22,000 capacity arena.

Bur Ross insisted: "I would sing the same if there were 10 people in the audience, or 10,000."

The awkwardly-billed "Diana Ross and the Supremes Tour - a Celebration of the Music" got off to a shaky start when it became clear Ross would be the only original member on show.

Co-founder Mary Wilson, who sang on the legendary Motown group's biggest hits - including Baby Love and You Can't Hurry Love - and Cindy Birdsong, who joined in 1967, refused to take part because they weren't being paid as much as Ross.

Fellow Supremes founder Florence Ballard died in 1976.

The tour started with Lynda Laurence and Scherrie Payne, two vocalists who joined the outfit after Ross left to pursue a solo career in 1970.

Diana Ross
Promoters say the Supremes tour is going ahead as planned

The trio played 12 venues across America and were due to perform a further 11 dates.

Ticket prices ranged from $42.50 (28) to $250 (165), but Ross denied fans were being cheated.

"This was never called a reunion tour," she stressed. "The tour is not about me, it's not about individuals, it's about the music and what we represented."

The group are due to play dates this week in Hartford, Conneticut, Boston and Atlantic City, with the final shows planned for early August.

See also:

15 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Ross gets back in the groove
05 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Supremes return for tour
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