Mary Wilson, one of the co-founders of The Supremes, has died. She was 76.
Wilson’s death was confirmed by publicist Jay Schwartz who said in a statement that she died suddenly in her home in Henderson, Nevada. A cause of death was not disclosed.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Motown Records founder Berry Gordy said, “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 always known as the ‘sweethearts of Motown.’ Mary, along with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, came to Motown in the early 1960s. After an unprecedented string of No. 1 hits, television and nightclub bookings, they opened doors for themselves, the other Motown acts, and many, many others.”
Berry’s statement concluded, “I was always proud of Mary. She was quite a star in her own right and over the years continued to work hard to boost the legacy of the Supremes. Mary Wilson was extremely special to me. She was a trailblazer, a diva and will be deeply missed.”
The Supremes were one of the most iconic, successful groups on the Motown label and the music industry at large in the 1960s netting 12 number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including becoming the first group to score five consecutive number one hits with “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” “Stop! In the Name of Love” and “Back in My Arms Again.”
The Supremes classic lineup of Wilson, Florence Ballard and Diana Ross were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.