Mary Wilson, who co-founded the best-charting female group in U.S. history – The Supremes – has died at the age of 76.
Wilson’s longtime friend and publicist Jay Schwartz said in a statement that she “passed away suddenly” on Monday night at her home in Las Vegas. He did not reveal the cause of her death.
Funeral services will be held privately, and a public memorial is planned for later this year, the statement added.
Berry Gordy, the founder of the Motown record label, wrote in detail about the singer and her band in a statement.
“The Supremes were always known as the ‘sweethearts of Motown.’ Mary, along with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, came to Motown in the early 1960,” Gordy said. “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.”
In a video she uploaded on YouTube last week, Wilson said she was planning to release solo material, including the unreleased album Red Hot she recorded in the 1970s with producer Gus Dudgeon, on her birthday, March 6.
Motown’s most successful group of the 1960s, the Supremes were one of the all-time best-selling girl groups in the world.
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