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Motown 'trailblazer' Mary Wilson of The Supremes dies at 76

Mary Wilson, a founding member of The Supremes, has died at age 76. File Photo by Danny Moloshok/UPI
Mary Wilson, a founding member of The Supremes, has died at age 76. File Photo by Danny Moloshok/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Mary Wilson, a founding member of The Supremes, has died at age 76.

Wilson died suddenly at her home in Henderson, Nev. on Monday, the singer's friend and publicist Jay Schwartz confirmed to Entertainment Tonight.

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No cause of death was disclosed.

Wilson was an original member of The Supremes when the Motown group was formed in 1959. Wilson appeared in the group alongside Diana Ross and the late Florence Ballard.

The Supremes were best known for hits "Where Did Our Love Go," "Baby Love," "Come See About Me," 'Stop! In the Name of Love" and "Back in My Arms Again."

"I was extremely shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of a major member of the Motown family, Mary Wilson of The Supremes," Motown founder Berry Gordy said in a statement.

"The Supremes were always known as the 'sweethearts of Motown.' Mary, along with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, came to Motown in the early 1960s. After an unprecedented string of No. 1 hits, television and nightclub bookings, they opened doors for themselves and other Motown acts and many, many others...I was always proud of Mary. She was quite a star in her own right and over the years continued to work hard to boost the legacy of the Supremes. Mary Wilson was extremely special to me. She was a trailblazer, a diva and will be deeply missed," he continued.

Wilson released two solo albums, including a self-titled release in 1979 and Walk the Line in 1992. She penned four books, two about The Supremes including Dreamgirl: My Life As a Supreme from 1986 and Supreme Glamour from 2019.

Wilson recently posted on her YouTube channel that she was working with Universal Music on releasing more solo music.

Wilson is survived by her daughter Turkessa, son Pedro Antonio Jr., 10 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Wilson's son Rafael was killed in a car accident at age 14 in 1994.

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