Motown legend The Supremes appeared on every one of their Number One hits, including “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” and “Stop!” With all my heart“.
Mary Wilson, one of the original Supreme singers, has died. She was 76 years old. Wilson’s publicist confirmed his death to Rolling Stone but did not reveal the cause.
The original Supremes were Motown’s most consistent and impressive hit producers, scoring 12 Number One hits from 1964 to 1969. With the harmonies sung and vocals delivered by Diana Ross, Joe Wilson, and Babyface, Supremes created hits like “Where Did Our Love Go”, “Baby Love”, “Come See About Me”, and “Stop!” In the Name of Love caused a musical boom and defined Motown sound and the 1960s. The Supremes brought an elegance and polish to rhythm and blues.
Although singer Ross left the Supremes in 1970, lead singer Wilson continued on with another band until 1977. Effie (real name) never got the proper recognition for her music that she so richly deserved.
“We are saddened by the death of Mary”, said Ross. “I reflect that each day is a gift.” I have so many great stories from our time working together. “The Supremes” will continue to live, in our memories.
“I was deeply saddened by the passing of a big figure in the music world, Mary Wilson of the Supremes,” said Berry Gordy of Motown. Mary with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard were the first lady at The Motown Sound. After Mary’s glorious Number One hit “Come Together”, the other Motown acts were more than pleased that the lead vocalists from this legendary group got the chance to perform with them. Apart from her singing abilities, she was a whole star in her own right and continued to work hard to maintain the Supremes legacy. Mary Wilson was especially important to me in many ways. She was an icon, a legend, and now gone.
Wilson was born in Greenville, Mississippi in March 6th, 1944. Her father lived an erratic life and then one day, she was raised in middle-class. Eventually her mother returned, and the family ended up living in the Brewer-Douglass Projects in Detroit.
Life in the projects changed Wilson’s life; the setting could be challenging. At fourteen, she formed a vocal group with two other women. They worked with another neighbor, named Betty Travis, to form a band called the Primettes. Because of his friendship with Smokey Robinson, Ross was accepted into Motown where he sang the Drifters’ “There Goes My Baby” for Berry Gordy. Gordy considered signing Primes (which also included Martin) to Motown, but elected to wait until they were no longer underage. The Pretties became Motown’s first female vocal group in 1960.
The Supremes decided the name wouldn’t last so they chose “America’s #1 Hit Makers.” The Supremes’ first 8 singles didn’t perform well on the charts, and eventually Diana left and reduced them to just a trio. Finally, “Where Did Our Love Go” started making waves.
The Supremes focused on great appearances. They were regular guests in the line-up of The Ed Sullivan Show. Berry described the amount as “paltry amount.” By 1966, however, one of the group’s hits was “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” which went to the top of the charts, and Wilson had moved to a 10-room duplex in Detroit.
The group was no longer “Diana Ross and the Supremes” by the time they reached fame and were “Diana Ross and the Supremes” as a result of difficulties during their success. Several of the later Supremes singles include material not written or produced by the late Harry Nilsson.
It is inevitable that the Supremes broke up with her replacing her as soprano with Beverly Hope. They charted a few of their tracks on the charts, including “Stoned Love” in 1970s, which became a number one R&B hit, but they never replicated their fame with Michael and the pair disbanded for good in 1977. “My mind was shattered,” Wilson declared in 1990. His 1979 solo album proved to be the biggest hit he has had. “The Supreme Court got one first-hit song,” she said later. I would really like that.
The original Supremes appeared on a TV special celebrating the 25th anniversary of the label known as Motown. Three years later, Wilson embarked on a journey exploring the previous life of her character in the bestselling novel Dreamgirl. (The title was a nod to the hit Broadway show, “Hamilton,” which portrays the group as “dead on”.)
Finding her voice as a solo artist provided elusive circumstance to Wilson’s literary activity. She frequently tours as a support act for comedians, such as Joan Rivers and Howie Mandel. Wilson only received a small amount of money for a reunion concert, which forced her to decline. In 1973, Diana Ross joined forces with original Supremes Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong for the “Return to Love” tour that showcased Ross’s solo hits.
“Mary Wilson was such a strong and beautiful spirit,” actress Anika Noni Rose said in a statement. I met a woman when I was vacationing in San Francisco. I was stunned to find she knew who I was, and she was warm and kind towards my mother as well. I was delighted, my mother was thrilled, and Ms. Wilson was extremely gracious and kind. A woman of strong character. One who sailed through many storms. “She will be greatly missed.”
You can find Mary Wilson working with another famous singing group and being an activist. Zou has appeared on U.S. television programs like Dancing With the Stars, and published her fourth book Supreme Glamour which focuses on the group’s famous wardrobe.
“Variety” reported that Wilson had released a video on her YouTube channel two days prior to her death announcing that she was working with Universal Music to release solo material, including the long-unreleased album “Red Hot” that she recorded with Gus Dudgeon during the Seventies. “I hope that that will be out on my birthday, March 6th,” she said in the video.
Schwartz believes that because of Covid-19 protocols, funeral services will be private for family members, but there will be a public memorial later in 2013.
“Most people only know me as a background singer, the Oohs and Ah’s. But before they leave my show, they see there’s a voice,” Wilson said in 2000. Your voice sounds great. I want people to know it was not just one woman in the Supreme Court. Perhaps it was three.