In the '60s, Martha Reeves helped put Detroit on the map as a member of the Motown Records roster as the leader of Martha and The Vandellas, placing half a dozen singles in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, including "(Love is Like a) Heat Wave," "Dancing in the Street" and "Jimmy Mack." Decades later, Reeves served the Motor City in another way: with a term on the Detroit City Council.
Reeves, one of 120 candidates, ran for office in 2005 on a platform that emphasized attention to "youths of the city" and adequate policing. She garnered 25,000 votes, putting her in ninth place - but the top nine were the ones who ended up selected to serve. While she was present for some great events including the dedication of a street in Motown founder Berry Gordy's honor (seen above), her single term in office was not without its share of controversy. Reeves continued to tour and frustrated some residents by telling the BBC her position was "her second job."
That, and a clumsy re-election campaign in which Reeves erroneously claimed to be a member of the Detroit Lions football team, meant she didn't advance past the primaries in 2009. But the soul legend took it in stride. "It was an education that I didn't think I would get anywhere else but on the Detroit City Council," she told the Michigan news site MLive. "I'm glad it's over, but I don't regret it at all."
If nothing else, Reeves took one of her most notable lyrics - "Can't forget the Motor City" from "Dancing in the Street" - quite literally.