Sad news to report….
Mary Wilson, a FOUNDING member of the iconic ‘The Supremes’, has passed away at the age of 76!
Wilson passed away suddenly at her home in Henderson, Nevada, this evening according to a statement from her longtime friend and publicist, Jay Schwartz.
Performing first as The Primettes, the Detroit-based quartet of Wilson, Florence Ballard, Betty McGlown and Diana Ross would become a trio to form The Supremes and sign for Motown Records on Jan. 21, 1961.
The ’60s saw the group become one of Motown’s best-known acts and one of the best-selling girl groups of all time with 12 number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 including “Where Did Our Love Go”, “Baby Love”, “Come See About Me”, “Stop! In the Name of Love”, “Back in My Arms Again”, “I Hear a Symphony”, and “You Can’t Hurry Love” among many others.
“I was extremely shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of a major member of the Motown family, Mary Wilson of the Supremes,” Motown Records founder Berry Gordy said in a statement Monday night. “The Supremes were always known as the ‘sweethearts of Motown.’ Mary, along with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, came to Motown in the early 1960s. After an unprecedented string of No. 1 hits, television and nightclub bookings, they opened doors for themselves, the other Motown acts, and many, many others.”
He added: “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.”
She is survived by her daughter Turkessa and grandchildren (Mia, Marcanthony, Marina); her son, Pedro Antonio Jr and grandchildren (Isaiah, Ilah, Alexander, Alexandria); her sister Kathryn; her brother, Roosevelt; her adopted son/cousin William and grandchildren (Vanessa, Angela and Erica and great-granddaughter Lori).
Wilson was with the group from when they were signed to Motown Records in January 1961 to their final show at the Frontier in Las Vegas in January 1970.
May she RIP…