Mary Wilson, the longest running member of the legendary Motown girl group The Supremes, has died. (per Variety). Wilson passed away at age 76 at her home in Las Vegas. Along with Florence Ballard and Diana Ross, Wilson were the first iteration of The Supremes, one of the most legendary girl groups in music history. While Ballard was replaced by Cindy Birdsong in 1976, Wilson stayed with the group until it was officially disbanded by Motown in 1977.
Post-Supremes, Wilson stepped out on her own in a multitude of mediums. She was an author (the polarizing and scorching Dreamgirl-My Life As A Supreme, followed by several other books) and continued recording music (one of her last singles was the dance anthem ‘Time To Move On’ in 2019). ‘Time To Move On’ received a massive amount of club play, in no small part due to the DJ’s that remixed that track. “We’ve worked with a lot of amazing artists over the years,” Drew G of Dirty Pop told Billboard at the time, “but it’s an especially supreme honor for Brian (Cua) and I to remix for the legendary Mary Wilson.” Her single led to what many considered a cultural rebirth of sorts for Wilson, leading to an appearance on Season 28 of Dancing With The Stars, followed up by the release of the book Supreme Glamour, which paid homage to the true glamour that was The Supremes and an era that they largely defined.
I interviewed Mary Wilson last year. While I knew that I was speaking to a music icon, Ms. Wilson immediately put me at ease. We discussed her latest book Supreme Glamour and her turn on Dancing With The Stars, but also the impact that The Supremes has had on popular culture as well as her love for the LGBT community.
While questions on a Supremes reunion are known to be a dicey topic with any of the remaining Supremes, I had to at least attempt to ask if this could ever happen. When I asked “Do you think that we live in a world where we could ever see you and Diana Ross ever share the stage again?” Ms. WIlson devilishly laughed and simply said “Well that question has been asked millions of times, you did frame it differently though (laughs). It is one of those things where you never know, you never know what is going to happen. I know the fans all over the world want that, so it’s kind of just up to fate. I have no idea….”
Follow Mary Wilson’s friends & family paying tribute to her on Instagram and Twitter