Singer Florence LaRue was born on February 4, 1942 in Plainfield, New Jersey to Sara Dell LaRue and James Harris LaRue. Her family soon moved to Glenside, Pennsylvania, where she began studying dance and violin. The family moved once more to Los Angeles, California where eventually LaRue earned her A.A. degree from Los Angeles City College, and then received her B.A. degree in education from California State College in Los Angeles. During the mid-1960s, Ms. LaRue met photographer Lamont McLemore after she won Miss Grand Talent after participating in the Miss Bronze California Contest. Lamont offered LaRue a place in a musical group that he was forming called the Versatiles. Ms. LaRue joined the group along with McLemore, Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis and Ron Townson. The Versatiles obtained a record deal with the assistance of Motown record producer Marc Gordon, who introduced them to producer Johnny Rivers, and helped develop their image and changed their name to The Fifth Dimension.