Mary Wilson Wiki
Mary Wilson Biography
Mary Wilson, outspoken co-founder of Motown’s legendary “girl group” The Supremes, has died. She was 76 years old.
Wilson launched the iconic pop and soul trio, famous for their silky layered vocals and graceful synchronized choreography, with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard after signing with Motown in 1961 when she was just 15 years old, originally as a member of The Primettes. The label’s founder, Berry Gordy, soon renamed them The Supremes.
“I just woke up to this news, my condolences, Mary’s family, I remember that every day is a gift,” tweeted Ross, with whom Wilson shared an often heated relationship publicly on Tuesday morning. “I have so many wonderful memories of our time together” The Supremes “will live on in our hearts.”
Cause Of Death
Her lifelong publicist, Jay Schwartz, confirmed in a statement that she passed away suddenly Monday at her home in Las Vegas. Her cause of death has yet to be announced and funeral services will be private due to COVID-19 restrictions, Schwartz said, but a public memorial is planned for later this year.
Wilson, a 1988 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Wilson, a 1988 Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, was also legendary for staying with his groundbreaking group long after lead singer Ross left for a solo career in 1970, and for waging a hard-won legal battle. for the copyright of the artists. which she detailed in her 1986 explosive memoir, “Dreamgirl: My Life As a Supreme”.
Ballard was replaced by Cindy Birdsong in 1967, and Wilson stayed on until The Supremes was officially disbanded by Motown in 1977.
“I was deeply moved and saddened to learn of the passing of an important member of the Motown family, Supreme’s Mary Wilson,” Motown guru Gordy said in a statement Monday night. “The Supremes were always known as the ‘Motown girlfriends.’ Mary, along with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, came to Motown in the early 1960s. After an unprecedented string of number one hits, television bookings and nightclubs, they opened doors for themselves, the other Motown acts. and many, many others. ”
Mary Wilson of the Supremes and her collection of gold and silver records, photographed in a hotel in Los Angeles, California on April 12, 1985.
Gordy continued: “I was always proud of Mary. She was a star in her own right, and throughout the years, she continued to work hard to further the legacy of the Supremes. Mary Wilson was very special to me. She was a trailblazer, a diva and we will miss her deeply. ”
On Saturday, Wilson posted a moving YouTube video in which she announced that she was working on a deal to distribute previously unreleased solo recordings with industry powerhouse Universal Music. She also poked fun at upcoming interviews she had done about her early experiences with segregation in honor of Black History Month.
“Hopefully some of that will come out on my birthday, March 6,” said Wilson, who appeared on season 28 of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and published his fourth book, “Supreme Glamor,” in 2019.
Mary Wilson was born
Born on March 6, 1944 in Greenville, Mississippi, she toured the country with her parents until she was sent to live with an aunt and uncle at the age of 3. She wrote in her autobiography that she did not know the true identity of her parents until she was 6 years old, and then she moved in with her mother in Detroit’s Brewster-Douglass Housing Project at 12.
It was in such humble surroundings that he would meet his future superstar friends Ross and Ballard, with whom he formed a group that would serve as the Primes “sister act,” a male act with Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks, future stars of Motown’s Temptations.
The Supremes’ first million-selling # 1 song, “Where Did Our Love Go,” was released on June 17, 1964. At the time, Wilson said there was a watershed moment when he realized he had a success. Record.
“I remember instead of going home by bus, we flew,” she told the Associated Press in 2014. “That was our first plane ride. We fly home. We had really achieved great success. ”
It would be the first of five consecutive hits on the charts, with “Baby Love”, “Come See About Me”, Stop! In the Name of Love ”and“ Back in My Arms Again ”following in quick succession. The Supremes also recorded the hit songs “You Can’t rush love,” “Up the Ladder to the Roof,” and “Love Child,” all while pushing the boundaries for women of color on and off stage.
Motown American vocal group The Supremes arrives at London Airport (now Heathrow), London, on March 15, 1965. From top to bottom: Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson.
Ross launched her solo career in 1968. The Supremes’ swan song with her at the helm, “Some Day We Be Together,” topped the pop and R&B charts in December 1969. The single marked the last appearance of the band. act at the top of graphic American pop.
Wilson married businessman and former Supremes manager Pedro Ferrer in Las Vegas in 1977
Wilson married businessman and former Supremes manager Pedro Ferrer in Las Vegas in 1977. The couple had three children, Turkessa, Pedro Antonio Jr., and Rafael, before divorcing in 1981.
Rafael tragically died at age 14 when his Jeep flipped over on a road trip between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, injuring Wilson and killing her son.
Over the years, Wilson publicly fought in the press with Ross, whom she always deliberately referred to by her birth name: Diane.
“I’m sure people will have their own opinions on that, but I don’t really care,” Wilson said, defending himself in a 1986 interview in Jet magazine. “The main thing is that when I was in the group I held my position and not I went up to Diane’s position. I am no longer in the group now. I have my own position to defend and it is not in the background. ”
A 2000 Supremes reunion tour fell apart spectacularly after a long and ugly battle over Wilson’s salary, which she claimed was an insult in comparison to hers “The Boss” bandmate. She publicly stated that it was “a fraction” of the $ 15 million Ross was receiving.
Still, Wilson kept moving with regular appearances in Las Vegas and at concert venues across the country. In 2015, she released her latest single, “Time to Move On,” which peaked at # 23 on the Billboard dance chart.
At the time of his death, his publicist said that Wilson had been working to try to obtain a designated American postage stamp for the doomed Ballard, his partner Supreme, and the inspiration for the Tony winner Jennifer Holiday and the Oscar-winning character. Jennifer Hudson in the “Dreamgirls” musical and movie, respectively.
Wilson’s activism efforts included traveling to Washington, D.C. to push for the Music Modernization Law, which became law in 2018.
She is survived by her two children, Turkessa and Pedro Antonio Jr, and her seven grandchildren: Mia, Marcanthony, Marina, Isaiah, Ilah, Alexander and Alexandria.
In lieu of flowers, Wilson’s family has requested that fans support UNCF.org and the Humpty Dumpty Institute.