Ross Claims Promoters Pulled Plug On Supremes Tour

Several performances, which featured singers Diana Ross hadn't previously performed with, drew half-full houses.

The final dates of Diana Ross' Supremes "reunion" tour have been canceled by the producers, Reuters reported Monday (July 10).

The tour drew criticism for not including Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong — the two surviving Supremes who sang with Ross in the 1960s — and played to less-than-capacity houses.

"I am severely disappointed that [promoters] TNA and SFX have decided to cancel the remainder of [the tour]," Ross said in a statement issued by her publicist, according to the news service.

The tour, which had been planned to hit 23 cities, opened June 14 in Philadelphia's First Union Spectrum. There were 7,000 empty seats in the 16,000-capacity house. Five days later, at Michigan's Palace of Auburn Hills — just outside the Supremes' hometown of Detroit — Ross and replacement Supremes Scherrie Payne and Lynda Laurence filled only 10,000 seats in the 19,000-capacity venue.

"I was very much looking forward to performing for our fans," the news service quoted Ross as saying. "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."

Howard Schacter, vice president of public relations for SFX, told Reuters that "the only official statement that we've made was the cancellation of the last three performances" in Long Island, N.Y., Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh. He said Wednesday's show, scheduled for Hartford, Conn., would go on as planned.

But when the tour was announced in April, it was scheduled to play seven more cities in July — Boston; St. Louis; Minneapolis; Denver; Seattle; San Jose, Calif.; and Phoenix. The tour was set to wrap Aug. 5 in Las Vegas, after an Aug. 3 performance in Anaheim, Calif.

Unnamed "people close to Ross" said the singer had been told by her lawyer that SFX had canceled the rest of the tour, the news service reported.

A spokeswoman for Wilson, with whom Ross has had well-documented tensions over the years, said the singer had no comment, according to Reuters.

Wilson, the late Florence Ballard and Ross sang on early Supremes hits, such as 1964's "Where Did Our Love Go" and "Baby Love" (RealAudio excerpt), while the lineup with Birdsong found success with 1967's "Reflections" and 1968's "Love Child" (RealAudio excerpt).

Ross was the only Supreme who sang on the group's last #1 pop and R&B hit, 1970's "Someday We'll Be Together" (RealAudio excerpt).

"The tour's not about me. It's not about the individuals," Ross, 56, said at a press conference in April. "It's really about the music and about what we represented and still represent as far as image and possibility."

(Contributing Editor Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen contributed to this report.)