Mary Wilson, founding member of Motown legends, the Supremes, has died at the age of 76.
Her friend and reporter Jay Schwartz confirmed Wilson died suddenly at her home in Henderson, Nevada. The cause of death has not been revealed.
Motown founder Berry Gordy called Wilson a pioneering diva after signing for the label in 1961 and remained with the original lineup of Supremes until their last performance in 1970. By that time they had 12 number one singles. on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including Baby Love and Stop! In the name of love.
In a statement, Gordy said: “I was extremely shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of an important member of the Motown family, Mary Wilson.
“The Supremes have always been known as the ‘Motown Lovers’. Mary, along with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, arrived in Motown in the early 1960s. After an unprecedented streak of # 1 hits, TV and nightclub bookings, they opened doors for them- same, other Motown artists and many others. … I have always been proud of Mary.
“She was quite a star in her own right and over the years she continued to work hard to strengthen the legacy of the Supremes. Mary Wilson was extremely special to me. She was a trailblazer, a diva and will be sorely missed.
Along with his musical accomplishments, Wilson had a career on the screen. She starred in the 2019 edition of Dancing with the stars, while Wilson also appeared in a football movie Golden shoes and in the 1960s from NBC Tarzan TV series.