Mary Wilson Dies: The Supremes Co-Founder Was 76

Mary Wilson (Credit: Shutterstock)

Mary Wilson, one of the founding members of The Supremes, has died. She was 76.

The Motown icon passed away Monday evening at her Henderson, Nevada home, her close friend and publicist Jay Schwartz told Entertainment Tonight.

Wilson’s discography with The Supremes included chart-topping hits such as “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “Back in My Arms Again,” and “I Hear a Symphony.”

Signed under Motown along with fellow members Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, the Supremes became the label’s best-selling act in the 1960s.

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After the group disbanded in 1977, Wilson released a self-titled solo album in 1979.

Her last single titled “Time to Move On” was released in 2015, and made it onto the Billboard dance charts.

Aside from her singing career, the “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” artist also became a  bestselling author with her 1986 memoir “Dreamgirl: My Life As a Supreme.” The book became an instant hit and Wilson followed up on its success with three other autobiographies about her Motown and solo career. Her most recent memoir was published in 2019 titled “Supreme Glamour.

She was a music rights activist late into her 70s, when she lobbied in 2018 to help pass the Music Modernization Act—which later became a law.

She was also asked to be a U.S. Cultural Ambassador for the U.S. State Department, and additionally competed on Dancing With the Stars in 2019.

Wilson was born in Greenville, Mississippi in 1944, before relocating to several states with her family and landing in Detroit. She first met future Supremes co-founder Ballard during elementary school in the Motor City.