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Diana Ross, Berry Gordy Pay Tribute to Supremes Cofounder Mary Wilson

Diana Ross, who cofounded the Supremes with Mary Wilson when each had been of their early teenagers, paid tribute to her pal and longtime bandmate in a quick Twitter put up on Tuesday.

“I simply wakened to this information , my condolences to you Mary’s household ,I’m reminded that every day is a present ,I’ve so many great reminiscences of our time collectively. The Supremes will dwell on, in our hearts,” she wrote of Wilson (pictured above, left), who died Monday of undisclosed causes. She was 76.

Wilson had already briefly sung in a gaggle led by Aretha Franklin’s youthful sister Carolyn when she was approached by Florence Ballard, a neighbor in Detroit’s Brewster initiatives, to kind a brand new group that will function a “sister act” to the Primes, a male quintet that included Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks, each future members of the Motown unit the Temptations.

The 2 ladies had been quickly joined by Ross (who would solely take the skilled identify “Diana” after the group’s first hits). With fourth member Betty McGlown and her successor Barbara Martin, they’d carry out because the Primettes till they rechristened themselves because the Supremes in early 1961.

With lead vocalist Diana Ross and founding member Florence Ballard (and with Ballard’s substitute Cindy Birdsong), Wilson appeared on all 12 of the Supremes’ No. 1 pop hits from 1964-69; throughout that interval, the act – the most important of Motown’s vocal teams thanks to their silken sound – charted a complete of 16 top-10 pop singles and 19 top-10 R&B 45s (six of them chart-toppers).

“I used to be extraordinarily shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of a serious member of the Motown household, Mary Wilson of the Supreme,” mentioned Berry Gordy in an announcement Monday evening. “The Supremes had been at all times referred to as the ‘sweethearts of Motown.’  Mary, together with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, got here to Motown within the early Nineteen Sixties. After an unprecedented string of No. 1 hits, tv and nightclub bookings, they opened doorways for themselves, the opposite Motown acts, and plenty of, many others. … I used to be at all times happy with Mary. She was fairly a star in her personal proper and through the years continued to work onerous to increase the legacy of the Supremes. Mary Wilson was extraordinarily particular to me. She was a trailblazer, a diva and might be deeply missed.”


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