Singer with Motown band whose hits included Where Did Our Love Go? dies in Las Vegas

Mary Wilson, co-founder of Motown band The Supremes, has died aged 76. Wilson’s publicist said she died suddenly in her Las Vegas home with no cause of death given

Motown founder Berry Gordy said he was “extremely shocked and saddened to hear that an important member of the Motown family has passed away”

“The Supremes have always been known as the ‘Motown Darlings'”Mary came to Motown with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard in the early 1960s after an unprecedented series of No. 1 hits, TV and night club bookings opened them up for themselves, the other Motown acts and many, many other doors ”

Musicians like Questlove and Paul Stanley from Kiss paid tribute to Wilson Stanley tweeted: “I was on a Zoom call with her Wednesday for about an hour and I could never have imagined it So full of life and great stories Absolutely shocked calm in the highest Peace, Mary ”

Wilson was born on Jan. Born March 1944 in Greenville, Mississippi. Her family moved to Chicago and later to Detroit. In Detroit elementary school, Wilson met Florence Ballard while singing on a school talent show

In 1958, Ballard Wilson and Diana Ross recruited to form the primettes. The group did covers at local events and made a name for themselves locally. Ross wanted to sign with Motown and asked their ex-neighbor, Smokey Robinson, to audition with Gordy get

Unimpressed by Gordy, who thought they were too young to sign, the trio made regular appearances at their studio in Hitsville, USA until he allowed them to make guest appearances on other artists’ records. “It really was like a Walk to Disneyland, “Wilson told the Observer at Motown Studio,” All these creative people “

In January 1961, Gordy signed the group on the proviso that they would change their name. Initially, they couldn’t make an impact on the charts, but in 1964 their version of Holland-Dozier-Hollands Where Did Our Love Go topped the US charts and reached number 3 in the UK

It was the beginning of an international chart series with Baby Love, Stop! In the name of love and you can’t hurry the trio also became known for their glamorous attire and in 1966 their album Supremes A’Go-Go became the first album by a women’s group to top the US album charts and Beatles revolver of 1st place replaced

The group collapsed in the late decade as Gordy Ross was preparing for solo success and Ballard suffered from depression and alcoholism: She died of a heart attack in 1976 “What hurts me is that some people say, ‘One of the Colonels was a Alcoholic “Flo drank to cover up the pain,” Wilson told the observer, referring to the sexual abuse Ballard suffered as a child. “The only reason she becomes an alcoholic is

Wilson was the only permanent member of the group until her death in 1977.After a legal battle with Motown, Wilson re-signed with the label as a solo artist to achieve mediocre success in 1986 she found herself back on top when her memoir Dreamgirl: My life as a Highest Sales Record Breaker. She was also successful in music theater. Lengthy business negotiations let Wilson out of a Supremes meeting scheduled for 2000, which was eventually canceled due to low sales

Wilson would later become an inspirational speaker, musician rights advocate, creator of a traveling exhibition of the Supremes’ famous dresses, and appeared on the US series Dancing with the Stars in 2019

She had planned to release solo material, including her unreleased 1970 album Red Hot, which was recorded with producer Gus Dudgeon, and in a video uploaded to YouTube two days before her death, she expressed a wish that some of her recordings until her birthday on 6 March to be released

Wilson married Pedro Ferrer in 1974 They were divorced in 1981 They had three children: their youngest, Rafael, died in a car accident in 1994 in which Wilson was injured

“I think you are lucky if you do not suffer such a loss in your life,” she told the observer. “You can lose a job, you can lose a love, but the loss of a child and the loss of a dear friend It helped me grow up and I don’t mean it well I’ve seen that life can be very cruel for someone you loveShe was also the adoptive mother of her cousin Willie

Gordy said he was “always proud of Mary. She was quite a star herself and continued to work hard over the years to build the legacy of the Supremes. Mary Wilson was very special to me. She was a trailblazer, a diva and will be greatly missed ”

Mary Wilson

World News – UK – Mary Wilson, co-founder of the Supremes, dies at the age of 76