Honey Cone was the first act signed to the Hot Wax label, which Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier
and Brian Holland (Holland-Dozier-Holland) formed after leaving Motown in 1969. The group was the trio of Shelly Clark, Carolyn Willis and Edna Wright. Wright was an accomplished singer, having done background work on various TV shows as well as tours with Bill Medley
and Billy Preston, and singing backup for Motown, which is where she met Eddie Holland. Hot Wax wanted to sign Wright's sister, Darlene Love
(Phil Spector is the one who suggested she change her name from Darlene Wright to Darlene Love), but she was busy with her group the Blossoms and passed on the offer. When Darlene got an offer to do an Andy Williams TV special, she turned it down but suggested Edna, who called her friend Carolyn Willis, who called her friend Shelly Clark, and they sang together for the first time at the gig.
They continued to perform together, and when Hot Wax signed them, they took a page from Motown's book and crafted an image for them. The attractive trio was christened Honey Cone and sent to charm school and to dance classes where they choreographed some routines. The girls returned to Detroit and released the singles "Girls It Ain't Easy" and "While You're Out Looking For Sugar" (both written by H-D-H, "Girls hit #68 and "Sugar went to #62, both in 1969) before hitting it big with "Want Ads," a song about a girl who is fed up with her lying, cheating man and is ready to advertise for a new one (and even willing to train). The song topped both the Hot 100 and the R&B charts.