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Gladys Horton, the powerful soul singer who co-founded the all-female Motown ensemble the Marvelettes, died late Wednesday in a nursing home. According to, Horton died January 26th in Sherman Oaks, California from complications related a stroke.

Horton formed The Marvelettes (then known as the Casinyets) at Michigan’s Inskter High School with members of her Glee Club when she was just 15. A 1961 talent show caught the attention of one of their teachers, who arranged an audition at Motown with Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson.

Horton and The Marvelettes would go on to record a number of classic Motown hits including “Playboy,” “Beechwood 4-5789” and “Too Many Fish In The Sea,” before the lead singer was replaced in 1965 by Wanda Young.

Take a look at Gladys performing below: