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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

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Mary Wilson, soul icon and founder of the Supremes, dies at 76

Together with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, the artist formed one of the most successful and influential girl groups in modern music.
The singer Mary Wilson, founder of the trio The Supremes with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, has died at the age of 76 at her home in Henderson, in the US state of Nevada.

The death of the singer has been confirmed by her representative, who did not specify the reasons for her death, according to the BBC. Together with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson formed one of the most successful and influential girl groups in modern music, with which they conquered the charts of the sixties around the world with songs like You can’t hurry love, Stop! In the name of love and Baby love.
Originally from Detroit, The Supremes became the most successful group on the Motown record label, with which they achieved up to twelve number one on the North American charts. Following the departure of Diana Ross from the group, Mary Wilson remained a member of The Supremes until its final dissolution in 1977.
In the last interview she gave, published last January in The Hollywood Reporter, Wilson was open to a meeting of the Supremes if Diana Ross, the leader of the group, agreed. Ross embarked on a solo career after giving her last concert with the group in Las Vegas in 1970.

On her origins, Wilson recalled how the trio sat “every day on the doorstep of Motown, until one day a producer came out and told us that she needed a band to play the background clapping.” As they were minors, in 1961, her parents had to sign their contracts.

They became famous in the 1964-1965 season, when they placed five consecutive number 1s on the charts: “Then the Civil Rights Act was passed. We became divas and citizens in the same year,” Wilson recalled in the aforementioned interview. .

“Since our parents were poor, and their parents had been slaves and things like that, they raised us knowing that we were black and that we had to be the best we could be (…) So we were always like that, but when we started traveling around the world we were not just black. We were human beings. We were respected. We were loved. We were not loved here in the United States, “he added.

Although there were great African American singers before The Supremes like Sammy Davis and Lena Horn, they were the first to enjoy the massive success that television could provide: “I think television really helped us in the 1960s to become very famous, you know. , people could see us all over the United States and see black people in a different light, “the now-deceased singer explained last month.

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