The biggest girlband was in trouble by 1968. Gordy kicked out Florence Ballard who was replaced by Cindy Birdsong and renamed them as Diana Ross and the Supremes (she would go solo a year later). Curiously enough the Supremes aren't present in the studio and the backing vocals are by Motown session singers The Andantes, like it would be from now on..... sadly. Diana kinda started her solo career a bit early...
Their two singles had "flopped" (reaching #28 and #30) so something had to be done. Gordy had a special meeting to create a hit song for them. Their glamour image was changed to short hair and t-shirts and instead of a sugary love song they came up with a story of a woman who didn't want to sleep with his boyfriend as she didn't want to have a love child she was herself, with a hard sad life that came with it.
It worked. The song rapdily became their 11th #1 in the US and overal their third biggest selling single (Baby love and Someday we'll be together being the other two). Mission completed.
The song waited quite a while for any significative covers but One to One did one in 1988 and two years later Sweet Sensation brought it back to charts (#13). Broadzilla covered it later, as did LaToya Jackson. Janet samplet it into You want this. Glee and other have covered it since.