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RIP Mary Wilson, aged 76

The Supremes co-founder has died at home in Nevada

2021 Feb 09     
2 Bit Thugs

The cause of her death has not been made public

Mary Wilson, co-founder of Motown legends The Supremes, has passed away at her home in Henderson, Nevada. She was 76 years old.

Born 6 March 1944 in Greenville, Missouri, Wilson moved to Detroit with her family as a child and became friends with fellow Supreme Florence Ballard while still at grade school. The two went on, at the age of 15, to form a singing group called The Primettes with two other vocalists, Diana Ross and Betty McGlowan.

By 1961, The Primettes had changed their name to The Supremes and signed to Motown. McGlowan left the group and was replaced by Barbara Martin, who also left, leaving the trio of Ross, Wilson and Ballard to go on and conquer the world as one of the most successful female vocal groups of all time, scoring 12 US No 1 singles before finally disbanding, after several more line-up changes, in 1977 – with Wilson the only constant in the band's line-up throughout their career.

After leaving The Supremes, Wilson recorded a solo disco album, Red Hot, in 1979 before concentrating on stage work, appearing in a number of Broadway musicals. Her solo career then received something of a fillip after the publication her two volumes of memoirs, Dreamgirl: My Life As A Supreme (1986) and Supreme Faith (1990), and in 2015 she scored her first Top 20 hit in 36 years with Time To Move On. In 2019, she appeared on Dancing With The Stars, the US equivalent of the UK's Strictly Come Dancing.

The cause of Ms Wilson's death has not been announced. She is survived by two children and 10 grandchildren.

 

 

 

 

Tags: Mary Wilson, The Supremes, Motown, Diana Ross, Flo Ballard