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9 February 2021, 09:43
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.
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.
"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.
"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.
Speaking to Smooth Radio's sister station 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.
"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."