One of the co-founders of the iconic Motown girl group The Supremes, Mary Wilson died Monday (2.08) at the age of 76. Though her publicist Jay Schwartz announced that she “passed away suddenly” at her Henderson, Nevada home, no cause of death was given.
Born March 6th, 1944, in Greenville, Mississippi, Wilson eventually found her way to Detroit where she lived in the Brewster-Douglass Projects when she first met fellow singers Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Betty McGlown. By the time she was 15 the trio formed the Primettes who became The Supremes after Smokey Robinson introduced them to Berry Gordy who signed them to Motown in 1961. Together, the team created such signature hits as “Baby Love,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Come See About Me,” “Stop In The Name Of Love,” “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Stoned Love,” and “My World Is Empty Without You.”
As a founding member of The Supremes, Mary contributed to the legendary act becoming the most successful Motown signing of the 1960s, the best-charting female group in U.S. chart history, and one of the all-time best-selling girl groups in the world. The group released a record-setting twelve number-one hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100.
In statement issued by Berry Gordy, “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.”