Mary Wilson, who co-founded The Supremes and remained a member of the group until they split up, has died at the age of 76.
Mary Wilson, a co-founder of The Supremes has died at the age of 76. She remained a member of the group until they split up. Jay Schwartz, her publicist, announced the singer’s death but the cause of death has not yet confirmed.
The Supremes co-founder Mary Wilson died
The Supreme was founded in Detroit as the Primettes in 1959 when Wilson still 15 years old. Wilson was an original member of the group alongside Diana Ross, Florence Ballard, and Barbara Martin. Then, Martin left the group before they became successful, and The Supremes continued as a trio.
The group disbanded following Wilson’s 1977 departure. The Supremes were known for hits such as Baby Love and You Can’t Hurry Love. The group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. After that, she became a New York Times bestselling author in 1986 with the release of her autobiography titled Dreamgirl: My Life As a Supreme.
The founder of Motown Records, Berry Gordy, said in a statement that he was shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of a major member of the Motown family, Mary Wilson of the Supremes.
“The Supremes opened doors for themselves, the other Motown acts, and many, many others… I was always proud of Mary. She was quite a star in her own right and over the years continued to work hard to boost the legacy of the Supremes. Mary Wilson was extremely special to me. She was a trailblazer, a diva, and will be deeply missed,” he added. Just two days before her death, Wilson uploaded a video on YouTube announcing that she was working on releasing new solo material.
Paul Stanley of Kiss tweeted, “I was just on a Zoom call with her Wednesday for about an hour and never could have imagined this. So full of life and great stories. Absolutely shocked. Rest In Supreme Peace Mary.”
Broadcaster Tony Blackburn said, “So sorry to hear the wonderful Mary Wilson has passed away. She was a very great singer and a very nice person. R.I.P.”