Mary Wilson, a founding member of The Supremes has died at 76, her publicist confirmed to Access Hollywood.
She passed away suddenly on Monday evening, according to her longtime friend and publicist Jay Schwartz.
“Services will be private due to Covid restrictions. A celebration of Mary Wilson’s life will take place later this year. The family asks in lieu of flowers, that friends and fans support UNCF.org and the Humpty Dumpty Institute,” the statement read.
The late singer became a trendsetter who changed the face of pop music by breaking down social, racial and gender barriers. The Supremes were formed in Detroit as The Primettes in 1959 and went on to become one of Motown’s most successful acts in the 1960s. They’re still considered by some as one of America’s most successful vocal groups.
Some of the singing trio’s hits included, “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” and “Stop! In The Name Of Love.”
“Their influence not only carries on in contemporary R&B, soul and pop, they also helped pave the way for mainstream success by Black artists across all genres,” the statement read.
But she didn’t just sing, she also focused on humanitarian efforts which ranged from raising awareness for HIV/AIDS, ending world hunger and more. She was also in the process of getting a U.S. postage stamp made of her former bandmate and original Supreme Florence Ballad who died in 1976.
In 2019, Mary had no signs of slowing down. She released her fourth book, “Supreme Glamour” which was about the history of The Supremes and their fashion. She also joined Season 28 of “Dancing With The Stars.”
Diana Ross remembered Mary with a note on Twitter that read, “I just woke up to this news , my condolences to you Mary’s family ,I am reminded that each day is a gift ,I have so many wonderful memories of our time together “The Supremes ” will live on ,in our hearts.”
I just woke up to this news , my condolences to you Mary's family ,I am reminded that each day is a gift ,I have so many wonderful memories of our time together "The Supremes " will live on ,in our hearts 💕
— Ms. Ross (@DianaRoss) February 9, 2021
Just this year the iconic singer celebrated the 60th anniversary of The Supremes.
Two days before her death, the singer announced on YouTube that she was planning to release new solo music with Universal Music Group. She is survived by her daughter, son, grandchildren, a sister and brother.
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