In 1965, her persistence paid off. Frances told her husband, "I'm entering the WCHB Talent Show and I'm going to win." His response was "Nobody wants to sign a 22 year old with 2 babies." Frances replied "You're going to eat those words!"
And eat those words he did! In June 1965 Frances came in 1st place out of 5,000 contestants singing her own rendition of The Shirelles "Everybody Love a Lover". Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records, was a judge and co-sponsored the contest. Frances won $500.00, a dozen long stemmed roses and a one year recording contract with Motown. She was awarded the prestigious honor of becoming the first female artist on the Motown Soul Label.
Frances recorded "Keep On Loving Me"/ "Fight Fire With Fire" which was released 2 days before her 23rd birthday. It was reported that the record sold 10,000 copies on it's own merit, although it was never promoted by the label, even though WCHB announced that the release being played was by contest winner Frances Nero every 1-1/2 hours.