Words by Georgia Keetch

Mary Wilson, one of the original members of the Supremes, the 1960s group that helped define the Motown sound and style and propelled Diana Ross to superstardom, has died. She was 76.

The Supremes are known for songs such as ‘Baby Love’ and ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’.

The group was founded in Detroit as The Primettes in 1959, when Wilson was 15 years old. The singer passed away at her home in Henderson, Nevada, her publicist Jay Schwartz announced, but he did not confirm the cause of death.

Wilson became a New York Times bestselling author in 1986 with the release of her autobiography, ‘Dreamgirl: My Life As a Supreme’. Just two days before her death, Wilson uploaded a video on YouTube announcing that she was working on releasing new solo material.

The founder of Motown Records, 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. The Supremes 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.”

Picture Credit: U.S. Embassy of London

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