Real-life Effie Was A Tragic Alcoholic

DREAMGIRLS has been rocked by a new bombshell - the film's heroine was a real-life soul star who was killed by rejection. JENNIFER HUDSON's Oscar-nominated turn as EFFIE WHITE is loosely based on SUPREMES singer FLORENCE BALLARD's tragic life, but, unlike Effie's film triumph, the real singer was kicked out of the soul trio and never invited back. And now Ballard's sister MAXINE wants fans of the movie musical to spare a thought for her tragic sibling - because she didn't get the chance to become a Dreamgirl. She says, "She (Florence) was down and out. She would think about the other Supremes, start drinking and then cry. "Flo told me how hurt she was because she felt that DIANA (ROSS) and MARY (WILSON) had turned their back on her." Ballard died in poverty in 1976, aged 36. In the film, BEYONCE KNOWLES and ANIKA NONI ROSE's characters welcome diva-like Effie back into the group for a swansong concert after learning about their former bandmate's personal hardship.


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