Motown Museum chair on Mary Wilson: ’World has lost one of the brightest stars in our family’

Wilson, of famed ‘The Supremes’ group, dies at 76

Mary Wilson, Motown Museum (Motown Museum)

DETROIT – Motown Museum Chairwoman and CEO Robin Terry called Mary Wilson one of the “brightest stars” in the Motown family.

Wilson died Monday night at her home in Las Vegas. She was 76.

“In this moment of extreme sadness, the world has lost one of the brightest stars in our Motown family. Mary Wilson was an icon,” reads a statement from Terry. “She broke barriers and records as an original member of the Supremes, one of the greatest music acts of all time. She was a legend who was not only extremely talented, but equally beautiful. We join Mary’s fervent fan base in remembering her life and profound cultural impact. Motown Museum will continue to honor, appreciate and celebrate her legacy for fans around the world and for generations to come.”

Wilson, Diana Ross and Florence Ballard made up the first successful configuration of The Supremes. Ballard was replaced by Cindy Birdsong in 1967, and Wilson stayed with the group until it was officially disbanded by Motown in 1977.

The group’s first No. 1, million-selling song, “Where Did Our Love Go,” was released June 17, 1964. Touring at the time, Wilson said there was a moment when she realized they had a hit song.

Read more: Mary Wilson, longest-reigning original Supreme, dies at 76

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FILE - Mary Wilson, founding member of The Supremes, appears during a portrait session at Capitol Records in Los Angeles on June 12, 2014. Wilson, the longest-reigning original Supreme, has died at 76 years old. Publicist Jay Schwartz says Wilson died Monday night, Feb. 8, 2021, at her home in Las Vegas and that the cause was not immediately clear. Wilson, Diana Ross and Florence Ballard made up the first successful configuration of The Supremes. (Photo by Casey Curry/Invision/AP, File)


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Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.