The Supremes singer and Motown icon Mary Wilson has died, aged 76

9 February 2021, 09:55 | Updated: 9 February 2021, 13:10

Supremes star Mary Wilson has died, aged 76
Supremes star Mary Wilson has died, aged 76. Picture: Getty

By Giorgina Hamilton

Motown singer Mary Wilson has died at the age of 76, it has been confirmed today.

The original member of The Supremes died on Monday night (February 8) at her home in Las Vegas.

Mary Wilson's publicist Jay Schwartz revealed the singer's death was sudden.

The shocking news comes after Mary uploaded a video to her personal YouTube account announcing her plans for new music on February 6, just two days before her death.

See more: Gold's Hall of Fame: The Supremes

Motown label founder, Berry Gordy, said in a statement: ‘I was extremely shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of a major member of the Motown family, Mary Wilson of the Supremes.

Mary Wilson of The Supremes has died aged 76 at her home in Las Vegas.
Mary Wilson of The Supremes has died aged 76 at her home in Las Vegas. Picture: Getty

"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. … I was always proud of Mary.

See more: Motown founder Berry Gordy announces retirement at 89: 'I have come full circle'

"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' original members Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross, and Betty McGlown burst onto the music scene in 1959, and with hits such as 'Stop In The Name Of Love' and 'Baby Love', by the mid-1960s were rivaling The Beatles in popularity worldwide.

The Supremes Cindy Birdsong, Diana Ross and Mary Wilson during a live concert performance, circa 1965.
The Supremes Cindy Birdsong, Diana Ross and Mary Wilson during a live concert performance, circa 1965. Picture: Getty
Mary Wilson performs in concert in Sound Waves at Hard Rock Atlantic City on November 16, 2019 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Mary Wilson performs in concert in Sound Waves at Hard Rock Atlantic City on November 16, 2019 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Picture: Getty

Speaking to Gold in 2019, Mary Wilson revealed she would like the legend of The Supremes to live on, preferably with a biopic based on her various autobiographical books.

"I would love my books – I have four books. But my first book was Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme, which was a bestseller.

See more: Mary Wilson interview: Supremes legend talks Motown at 60, The Beatles and inspiring millions

"And I did try to option that out for a movie. And because of the movie and the play, Dreamgirls, people didn’t want to touch it, because: 'Oh, the story’s already been told.'

"But it’s not been told. Not our story. "[Dreamgirls the movie] was a great project. What can I say? And I’ve seen it many times. I thought it was a wonderful thing."

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