Very sad news breaking overnight as it's been confirmed that the legendary Mary Wilson has passed. According to her longtime publicist, Jay Schwartz, the 76-year-old died suddenly last night at her home in Las Vegas. Wilson, along with Diana Ross and the late Florence Ballard, co-founded The Supremes in a Detroit housing project when she was 15 in the 1960s. While Diana and Florence left the group, Mary stayed until the end in 1977. Berry Gordy, Motown founder, released a statement about Mary’s death. “I was extremely shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of a major member of the Motown family, Mary Wilson of the Supreme,” Gordy offered. “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 number one hits, television and nightclub bookings, they opened doors for themselves, the other Motown acts, and many, many others. … 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.” I had the opportunity to interview Mary Wilson several times and I always asked her if she and Diana Ross would ever reunite. She always said she would be up for it and that it was up to Diana. Sadly it never happened.
Mary is probably best known to younger audiences for her appearance on the 28th season of “Dancing with The Stars” in 2019. In addition, she released “Supreme Glamour,” her fourth book, the same year. What's really said is that just two days ago, Mary announced that she’d be working with Universal Music to release some solo material – including the unreleased album “Red Hot” that she recorded in the 1970s with producer Gus Dudgeon. She also promised to share interviews she’d done about The Supremes’ experiences with segregation in honor of Black History Month.
Wilson leaves behind a daughter, a son, and seven grandchildren. In addition, she’s survived by a sister, a brother, and an adopted son/cousin and three grandchildren and a great grandchild.