MEMORIAM

Mary Wilson, founding member of The Supremes, dies at 76

Mary Wilson, the legendary Motown singer and a founding member of the legendary trio, The Supremes, has died. She was 76.

Wilson died suddenly at her home in Las Vegas, Monday according to her friend and publicist Jay Schwarz.

As a girl, Wilson lived in a Detroit housing project, and as a teenager, she formed The Supremes along with Diana Ross, and Florence Ballard.

The group became one of Motown's most successful acts of the 1960s and scored a dozen No.1 singles. They recently celebrated their 60th anniversary on Jan. 21 — the day they were signed by Motown Records.

Mary Wilson

Wilson remained with the group following the departures of other original members, Florence Ballard in 1967 and Diana Ross in 1970, though the group disbanded following Wilson’s own departure in 1977.

Wilson later became a New York Times best-selling author in 1986 with the release of her first autobiography, Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme, which set records for sales in its genre, and later for the autobiography Supreme Faith: Someday We’ll Be Together. She also penned a coffee table book in 2019 titled “Supreme Glamour,” which was full of personal stories and hundreds of fashion photos.

At 75, in the footsteps of a number of singing celebrities — including Gladys Knight — Wilson she appeared on “Dancing With The Stars.”

 

Wilson was working on new projects for 2021, including an album she recently teased on her YouTube channel. Continuing a successful career as a concert performer in Las Vegas, Wilson also worked in activism, fighting to pass Truth in Music Advertising bills and donating to various charities.

Wilson was inducted along with Ross and Ballard (as members of the Supremes) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

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