Rolling Stone: Mary Wilson, Founding Member of The Supremes Dies at 76

One of the founding members of the The Supremes and Motown legend, Mary Wilson, who was on all 12 of the group's hits, died in her home at 76. 

Mary Wilson, who was part of the Motown family as one of The Supremes' founding members, died in her home in Henderson, Nevada, at the age of 76. 

Her cause of death has not been revealed, but her publicist Jay Schwartz has confirmed her passing away. The family plans to hold a private gathering to mourn their loss and host a public memorial service later in the year.  

Mary Wilson at Amoeba Records on November 18, 2015 in Los Angeles | Getty Images

Mary Wilson at Amoeba Records on November 18, 2015 in Los Angeles | Getty Images

SWEETHEARTS OF MOTOWN

As a part of The Supremes, lovingly called the sweethearts of Motown, Wilson played a pivotal role in the music label and the group. Motown Record's Founder, Barry Gorder, spoke out about the loss, saying

"I was extremely shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of a major member of the Motown family, Mary Wilson of the Supremes.”

The Supremes were trailblazers with Wilson, joined by stars Diana Ross and Florence Ballard to make the stellar group that released hit songs like "Come See About Me" and "Where Did Our Love Go" 1960s. 

WORKING UP UNTIL THE END 

Wilson showed her work ethic and determination to continue contributing to the music industry right until the end. A few days before passing away, the singer posted a YouTube video saying she was working on new music. 

[Wilson] was married to Pedro Ferrer, the group's road manager, but the two divorced in 1981 after being married for seven years. 

The Supremes star revealed that she was working on solo music at Universal Music, which included an album that she had put together in the 1970s but was never released. Wilson's music meant a lot to her. 

 

THE SUPREMES REUNION 

Wilson revealed in an interview in 2019 that she was also not opposed to reuniting with her fellow Supreme ladies but that Diana Ross just needed to make the call and she would be there. She said

“I think the fans would love to see it, but that’s really up to Diana [Ross]. It’s up to her and if she would like to do it, then I’ll be there!”

With her music career stretching almost six decades-long, Wilson had a genuine impact on the industry, especially women. The Supremes was groundbreaking in terms of representing women behind the microphone. 

DANCING WITH THE STARS 

The singer also showed off her dance moves on "Dancing With The Stars." Although she was the first contestant to be voted off, Wilson, who was 75 at the time, still showcased her broad range of skills. 

Wilson was also an author. She released four books, with "Supreme Glamour" being her final release. The book shared some of the beautiful and iconic looks and outfits from her days with The Supremes. 

The 76-year-old was also the mother of three. She was married to Pedro Ferrer, the group's road manager, but the two divorced in 1981 after being married for seven years. 

Having lived a full and successful life, Wilson leaves large shoes to fill in the music industry. The loss of Motown sweetheart is felt by her fans, family, and the Motown group as a whole. 

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