Mary Wilson, a co-founder of The Supremes (“Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” “Stop! In the Name of Love”), died suddenly at her home in Las Vegas on Monday, according to her longtime publicist. The cause of death is not known at this time. Wilson was 76.
Wilson recorded this video just three days ago.
Motown Records’ founder Berry Gordy released a statement: “I was extremely shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of a major member of the Motown family, Mary Wilson of the Supremes. 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, the 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.”
“It was always there,” Wilson said of the group’s appeal to gay fans, in a 2014 interview. “I think because we were so glamorous that it automatically was a great attraction for the gay community — they were the ones who were there at the door first… To this day, there are different camps for Flo, Diane, Cindy Birdsong and the 1970s (post-Ross) Supremes. And the fans are still there but they are kind of divided.”