LISTEN: In Memory of Mary

Remembering the Supreme of our dreams

Mary Wilson (Art: Ron Hart)

Diana Ross might have been the marquee name of The Supremes. But it was Mary Wilson, who passed away earlier this week at 76, that was the apple of most guys for nearly 60 years.

Her beauty, strength and depth of soul made Mary a radiant light in the Motown Multiverse ever since she stepped into the studio to record Meet The Supremes in 1962, and kept the flame of her group’s brand alive long after Diana parted ways with Wilson and Florence Ballard for a successful solo career.

Ms. Ross was one of the first voices to mourn her song sister’s passing on Twitter.

“I just woke up to this news,” she wrote. “My condolences to you Mary’s family, I am reminded that each day is a gift, I have so many wonderful memories of our time together ‘The Supremes’ will live on, in our hearts 💕.”


VIDEO: The Supremes perform “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” at the Hollywood Palace, 1969

She was quickly joined by some of the great names in music sharing their sorrow over Mary’s passing.

“Been busy all day then my Mom tells me Mary Wilson passed,” Chuck D said. “Smashed me. Ms. Wilson tale is simple upon taking a picture with Issac Hayes & other greats at R&B Heritage Awards. My cap was blocking the shot. She slaps the bill & says ‘Boy If you dont turn that hat! ❤️Rest ma’am peace❤️.”

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of the beautiful Mary Wilson!” wrote Patti LaBelle. “She was a legend and an icon and what she contributed to the world cannot be overstated. I send my deepest condolences and prayers to her family, loved ones and fans. ❤”

Dionne Warwick expressed her sadness in a three-part Tweet, “Seldom can be said without reservation, ‘That’s my friend.’ How privileged I am to be able to say ‘MY FRIEND’ Mary Wilson has made her transition. It’s never expected as this is a truly unwelcome experience for me and without a doubt so many others. Our laugh times, and long chats I most certainly will miss, not to mention that radiant smile and energy she possessed. My heartfelt condolences goes out to her children, grandchildren, family members and host of friends. She has joined the heavenly choir and will now enjoy the reward God has for her. Rest In Peace my dear Friend!”

“RIP Mary Wilson,” added Steven Van Zandt. “Legendary founding member of the Supremes and fantastic solo artist. I had a wonderful conversation with her just before the quarantine. She was full of energy and plans so this is shocking as well as tragic. Our love and condolences go to her family and friends.”

“Mary Wilson brought something wonderful to the Supremes,” wrote Gladys Knight. “The warmth in her voice and music came from her soul. She was a good friend and I will miss her smile, her voice, and her heart.”

One of the more touching tweets came from the Detroit Tigers, who added a video of her performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” from 2019 at Comerica Park in the Motor City.


VIDEO: Mary Wilson performs the National Anthem at Comerica Park, April 2019

“Motown feels quieter today,” the club stated. “Thank you, Mary Wilson. We’ll never forget your 2019 #OpeningDayDET National Anthem.”

The LBJ Library also paid their respects, recalling the moment The Supremes were invited to the White House to meet President Lyndon Johnson.

“We mourn the death of Mary Wilson, founding member of The Supremes, who passed away at the age of 76,” they wrote. “On June 26, 1968, the influential musicians met with President Johnson at the White House.” 

President Johnson meets The Supremes (Photo: LBJ Library)

To honor memory of Mary Wilson, the Rock & Roll Globe has put together this exclusive playlist of our favorite songs from both her career as a solo artist and with The Supremes.

Peaceful journey, Queen.


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Ron Hart

Ron Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Roll Globe. Reach him on Twitter @MisterTribune.

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