Harlean Harris Wilson, Widow of R&B Legend Jackie Wilson, Dies at 81
Harlean Harris Wilson, the widow of R&B legend Jackie Wilson, passed away at age 81. Her death comes just 12 days before her husband was finally going to be recognized on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Harlean Harris Wilson, a former model and socialite, has died at the age of 81. She was the widow of the groundbreaking R&B artist Jackie Wilson, who was about to get his own Hollywood Walk of Fame star on September 4, 35 years after his death.
Harlean Harris Wilson, Widow of R&B Great Jackie Wilson, Dies at 81 https://t.co/ITp5WX8SIO— Variety (@Variety) August 26, 2019
Before her death, Harlean was interviewed about how she felt now that her husband was getting a star, and all she could say was that she was elated.
"I was so elated for him, so ecstatic about my husband getting this star. That title 'Mr. Excitement' wasn't just given to him; he worked for it."
Harlean's Wonderful Life
Born on December 20, 1937, Wilson was a well-known model before marrying the singer. She would appear on magazines like "Jet," "Hue," and "Ebony," even frequenting tabloid columns for her ties with Sammy Davis Jr., Ronald Isley, and Sam Cooke.
Ultimately, though, the New York native married Jackie Wilson in May 1967, shortly before he released his hit song "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher."
Harlean Harris Wilson was well-known for having appeared on the covers of Ebony, Jet, and Hue. https://t.co/aa12whRXDq— ESSENCE (@Essence) August 27, 2019
A year later, she appeared alongside her husband on the cover of his album, "I Get The Sweetest Feeling."
Mr. and Mrs. Wilson shared a son together, John Wilson, who had a son of his own named Robert Wilson.
An Attempted Rape Scandal
Although they had quite a happy family life until Mr. Excitement passed away at age 49 in 1984, news of Jackie's infidelity and violent behavior came to light recently.
Patti LaBelle, a renowned singer, revealed that an iconic singer attempted to rape her. That singer turned out to be Jackie Wilson.
Known for her powerful vocals on songs like "Lady Marmalade," "On My Own," "If You Only Knew," and "New Attitude," it was that same powerful voice that saved her from an attempted rape by one of her colleagues.
The Alleged Incident
The incident appeared to happen in the early 1960s when she was still a part of the group "Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles." LaBelle revealed that she was dragged from backstage into a room in an attempt to rape her. Those who dragged her turned out to be Jackie Wilson and his accomplice.
"He was kissing my neck, and I could smell the liquor on his breath. As I struggled to free myself, Jackie’s accomplice started dragging me in backwards. I was kicking with all my might, but I was no match for him," she strongly recalled.
No match for his might, all Patti could do was scream all she could. After realizing that they could be caught, Jackie and his accomplice backed off.
"No one could hear me. I didn’t have a knife, but I had my voice. I started screaming even louder, at the top of my lungs, and I can scream every bit as loud as I can sing.”
Since then, all she could do was run towards the light.
In the end, Jackie Wilson was never reprimanded for what he did, and Patti LaBelle has to live with that traumatizing moment all her life.
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