Mary Wilson – Tribute

Described as an original sweetheart of Motown, Mary Wilson (March 6th 1944 – February 8th 2021) has earned her place in the history books. She was a founding member of the Supremes who between 1964 and 1969 had 12 number 1 hits in the US pop charts. The indelible sound of the three Motown sweethearts captured nations. It crashed through racial barriers at a time when the fight for civil rights, violence and brutality against Black people were a  backdrop for many Black people in the US and UK.

No one was able to capture the distinctive sound of the trio and they remain one of the bestselling groups globally as well as the most successful Motown act and best charting female group in the world.

The Supremes, Berry Gordy hails members of the Motown house band, left, and his Holland Dozier Holland hitmakers in 1965. Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Berry Gordy, founder of Motown expressed his sadness at her passing and described Mary Wilson as “a trailblazer,” – “Motown sweetheart”  and “diva. “

Mary Wilson was named New York Times Best selling author in 1986 with her first biography Dreamgirl, MyLife as a Supreme. 

Mary Wilson remained active all her life and in 2019 published her 4th book Supreme Glamour with co-author Mark Bego. She was “…a star in her own right” as Berry Gordy said in a statement about her passing.



main photo: The Supremes – Mary Wilson Centre. Manchester Square London outside EMI records. Posed group portrait L-R Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson and Diana Ross (Photo by RB/Redferns)