Singer, Mary Wilson, a co-founder of legendary Motown group, The Supremes has died at age 76, her publicist, Jay Schwartz told newsmen.
Her publicist, who was also her friend, described her death as a sudden one.
Mary Wilson who was survived by her two children, several grandchildren and two siblings, died at her Henderson home in Nevada.
The statement said that due to the COVID-19 laid down protocols, her burial services will be private and a celebration of Wilson’s life will take place later in the year.
Schwartz described Mary Wilson as a trendsetter who broke down social, racial, and gender barriers.
According to the statement, she began her career in Detroit in 1959 as a singer in what was then called “The Primettes.” They went on to become “The Supremes,” Motown’s most successful group of the 1960s, with 12 number one singles including “Where Did Our Love Go, ” “Baby Love,” and “Stop! In the name of Love.”
“Their influence not only carries on in contemporary R&B, soul and pop, they also helped pave the way for mainstream success by Black artists across all genres,” the statement said.
In 2018, Billboard celebrated the 60th of June of anniversary of Motown with a list of “The Hot 100’s Top Artists of All Time,” and another listed The Supremes at number 16, according to the statement.
Wilson’s legacy went beyond singing, Schwartz noted. She became a best-selling author, motivational speaker, businesswoman, and US Cultural Ambassador, he said.
The statement stated, “Mary Wilson used her fame and flair to promote a diversity of humanitarian efforts including ending hunger, raising HIV/AIDS awareness and encouraging world peace.”
Mary Wilson was also instrumental in passing the Music Modernization Act (MMA) in 2018, which aimed to modernize copyright-related issues for new music and audio recordings in the face of new technology like digital streaming which did not protect music recorded before February 15, 1972, the statement said.