The Tragic Death Of Mary Wilson
Mary Wilson has died at age 76. According to AP News, her publicist Jay Schwartz stated that the cause of death is not yet clear. The singer and Supremes co-founder was at her home in Nevada at the time, according to the BBC.
Along with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, Wilson started the band The Supremes as a teenager in Detroit. The group, which at first was called The Primettes, became famous for iconic songs like “Baby Love,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” and “Stop! In The Name Of Love.” Although Ballard was replaced in 1966 and Ross left in 1970, Wilson stayed a Supreme until Motown officially broke up the group in 1977.
Over the course of their legendary career, The Supremes had twelve U.S. No. 1 hits. They became part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 in honor of their impact on music history. Wilson then became a New York Times bestselling author with her book Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme in 1986. The singer also appeared on Dancing With the Stars in 2019.
As Variety reported, Wilson had announced only two days before her death that she would be working on new solo material with Universal Music Group. In a YouTube video posted on Feb. 6, 2021, she shared her hope that the new music would be released before her birthday in March.
Tributes poured in immediately for the Motown legend
Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records, said that he was “extremely shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of a major member of the Motown family, Mary Wilson of the Supremes,” per Variety.
“The Supremes opened doors for themselves, the other Motown acts, and many, many others… I was always proud of Mary,” Gordy declared. “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,”
Diana Ross tweeted a heartfelt tribute to her former bandmate, writing that she had “so many wonderful memories of our time together,” sending her condolences to Wilson’s family. The singer concluded that The Supremes will live on “in our hearts.”
Wilson was married to Pedro Ferrer from 1974 to 1981 and had three children with him. Her family includes ten grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. According to the BBC, they will have a private funeral due to COVID-19 restrictions, but a public “celebration of her life” will take place later this year.
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