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Iconic Motown singer Mary Wilson has died

Mike Perini
Michigan Radio

Singer Mary Wilson has died. She was 76.

As a founding member of The Supremes, Wilson was a key part of the Motown sound. Mary Wilson, Diana Ross and Florence Ballard made up the first successful configuration of The Supremes.

Wilson was the lone constant from the group’s formation in the early 60’s until it’s dissolution in the late 70’s.

On her YouTube channel a few days ago, Wilson talked excitedly about her own discography getting a new release.

“I finally...decided how to work with Universal. And they are going to release new recordings Mary Wilson recordings. Yes at last!” Wilson said.

Mary Wilson’s career included many highs and some controversy.

Wilson’s 1986 autobiography Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme revealed a rift between her and Supremes lead singer Diana Ross.  In the book, Wilson talked about Ross’ diva behavior behind the scenes.

Mary Wilson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. 

Mary Wilson’s publicist says the singer died Monday night at her home in Las Vegas and that the cause was not immediately clear.

Motown Founder Berry Gordy released a statement saying he was “saddened” by the news of  Wilson’s death. Gordy says Mary Wilson was "quite a star in her own right and over the years continued to work hard to boost the legacy of the Supremes."

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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