February 10, 2021
Diana Ross paid a special tribute to her friend and fellow co-founder of the Supremes, Mary Wilson after she died at the age of 76 on February 8, 2021.
Now left as the only living member of the Mowtown group the Supremes, Diana Ross paid tribute to her fellow singer Mary Wilson who passed away on Monday in a statement to ET where she looked back at their time together.
The Supremes was a successful group in the 1960s with Ross and Wilson joined by Florence Ballard, who died in 1976. Having released more than 12 number one hits, the group was one of Motown's stars.
THE GOOD OLD DAYS
Wilson passed away suddenly in her home in Henderson, Nevada, leaving Ross as the only surviving founder of the iconic group. Ross reflected on the days she spent with her fellow singer in the statement, saying:
"I remember Mary's joy and love during happier times and our love and years together. I recall 'the good old days' with a smile in my heart and a song in my heart."
Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle also shared their fond memories of the singer. They paid tribute to her kind nature and beautiful voice while sending their condolences to the Wilson family.
THE HEY DAYS
Wilson joined the Primettes in 1959, and the group would go on to become the Supremes. They were Motown Records' top group throughout the '60s, releasing hits like "Where Did Our Love Go" and "Baby Love."
Ross left the group in 1969 to pursue a career on her own, and Wilson followed suit. Wilson was working on music that she was aiming to release in the spring up until her death.
SO MUCH MORE THAN MUSIC
Wilson had a tremendous impact on the music industry, especially as she formed part of one of the trailblazing African American female groups in the 60s. Still, she also contributed in many other fields.
Her legacy includes best-selling books that she wrote, motivational speaking, and entrepreneurial efforts. Jay Schwartz, the iconic singer's publicist, released a statement saying:
"Wilson used her fame and flair to promote a diversity of humanitarian efforts including ending hunger, raising HIV/AIDS awareness and encouraging world peace."
Despite working tirelessly on her music career, Wilson also invested time into her family. She leaves behind two children, a son, and a daughter. The singer was also a grandmother to several grandchildren.
Due to the restriction in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the family will be holding a private funeral service to mourn their loss but plan on having a memorial service for the public later on in the year.
Leaving behind an immeasurable impact on how the music industry, especially within the R&B genre and where artists of color are concerned, Wilson leaves large shoes to fill.
The moving words of the artists and people that worked and lived alongside her attest to the meaningful difference that Wilson made in her 76 years and shows that her success stretched further than her musical abilities.