Marvelettes founder Gladys Horton dies at 66

Gladys Horton, front right, with the Marvelettes Gladys Horton, front right, left the group in 1967

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Gladys Horton, co-founder of Motown girl group The Marvelettes, has died at the age of 66.

The band were signed to Berry Gordy's Tamla label and had a US number one single with Please Mr Postman in 1961, released when Horton was just 15.

Her son, Vaughn Thornton, said she died on Wednesday in a nursing home in Sherman Oaks, California, where she had been recovering from a stroke.

Horton was replaced as lead singer in 1965 and left the group in 1967.

She formed the band with school friend Georgia Dobbins in Inkster, a suburb of Detroit.

They originally named themselves the Casinyets - short for "Can't sing yet".

After entering a high school talent contest, the group - now called the Marvels - won an audition with Tamla founder Berry Gordy and singer Smokey Robinson.

They changed their name to the Marvelettes and released Please Mr Postman, which gave them their only US number one hit.

An album quickly followed but it failed to enter the charts.

Their hit song was later covered by the Beatles and went to the top of the US chart again in 1974 with the Carpenters.

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