Solo artists don't count. Apologies to Marvin Gaye. Your nominations had to be for a frontman, or frontwoman of a band. And we mean a proper collaborative band, not just a vehicle for a solo artist like Jimi's Experience or The Boss's E Street Band. And it's not just about who is the best vocalist, it's about the whole package, got that? Right?!
Good. First up, here's a '60s singing sensation...
You know the songs - Jimmie Mack, Nowhere To Run, (Love Is Like A) Heat Wave - but do you know the voice behind them? That big, brassy and sassy, gospel-reared alto vocal belonged to Martha Reeves, who, during an incredible five-year run (1962-67), helped make Martha And The Vandellas the second most successful girl group in the Motown family.
Drug and alcohol problems plagued Reeves during her heyday, and in-fighting with the other members of The Vandellas eventually led to the dissolution of the group. But for a time, Reeves, while not an actual 'Supreme,' certainly reigned supreme on the charts.
Listen: Martha And The Vandellas - Dancing In The Street
"Definitely need some love for the Motown groups of the ‘60s. I’ll go for Smokey Robinson for his work with The Miracles, Martha Reeves for The Vandellas and Diana Ross (before she went disco) for The Supremes." (Thanks, Tom)