Mary Wilson Wiki – Biography
She was an American singer. She was recognized worldwide as a founding member of The Supremes, the most successful Motown band of the 1960s and the best-listed women’s group in U.S. listing history, and also one of the world’s best-selling girl groups. The group released twelve number one hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100, ten of which sang Wilson’s backing vocals.
Wilson remained with the group after the departure of the other original members, Florence Ballard in 1967 and Diana Ross in 1970, but the group disbanded following Wilson’s own departure in 1977. Wilson later became the New York Times best-selling author in 1986. Her first autobiography, Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme, broke sales records in its genre and later autobiography Supreme Faith: Someday We’ll Be Together.
Continuing a successful career as a concert artist in Las Vegas, Wilson also worked in activism, struggled to pass Reality bills in Music Advertising, and donated to various charities. Wilson, along with Ross and Ballard (as members of Supremes), was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
Wilson married Pedro Ferrer on May 11, 1974 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their union gave birth to three children: Turkessa, Pedro Antonio Jr. and Rafael. Wilson and Ferrer divorced in 1981. Wilson is also the adoptive mother of his cousin Willie’s. In January 1994, Wilson and his 14-year-old son Rafael were involved in an accident on Interstate 15 between Los Angeles and Las Vegas when their Jeep Cherokee fell off the highway. Wilson was moderately injured; Rafael’s injuries were fatal.
As of September 2019, Mary has 10 grandchildren and 1 great-granddaughter, and she announced it in episode 2 of season 28 of Dancing with the Stars.
Wilson earned an associate degree from New York University in 2001.
Wilson received an Honorary Doctorate in Humanitarian Letters from Paine College in Augusta, Georgia.
Wilson received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Newspaper Publishers Association in 2020. Wilson was also inducted into the 2013 National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame alongside The Supremes. Wilson also served as a master of National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame ceremonies and a board member from 2016 to 2019. Mary Wilson was born to Sam and Johnnie Mae Wilson in Greenville, Mississippi. She was the eldest of three children, including a brother Roosevelt and a sister Katherine. Wilson, his aunt Ivory “I.V.” Before living with St. She moved to Louis and then to Chicago. and Uncle John L. Pippin from Detroit. Wilson was reunited with his mother and siblings at age 9. Wilson’s mother worked as a domestic worker for a living. Wilson and his family had founded Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects, a housing project in Detroit before reaching his teens. Wilson first met Florence Ballard at an elementary school in Detroit. The two became friends while singing at the school’s talent show. In 1959, Ballard asked Wilson to audition for Milton Jenkins, who formed the sister group of the male vocal trio Primes. Wilson was soon accepted into the band known as The Primettes with Diana Ross and Betty McGlown. Wilson graduated from Detroit’s Northeastern High School in January 1962. Despite his mother’s insistence on going to college, Wilson focused on his music career instead.
Mary Wilson Career & Death Cause
Wilson died in his sleep at the age of 76 in Las Vegas on February 8, 2021. The cause of death is unknown. Two days before his death, he announced on YouTube that he was planning to release new solo material with Universal Music Group and hoped it would be released before his 6 March birthday. Motown founder Berry Gordy said he was “extremely shocked and saddened” by the news of his death and said that Wilson “was a star in his own right and has continued to work hard to strengthen the Supremes legacy over the years.
Wilson survived by his daughter, son, adopted son, several grandchildren, one sister, and brother.
Primettes signed with Motown Records in 1961, renaming the group The Supremes. Between this time McGlown left to marry and was replaced by Barbara Martin. In 1962, the band was reduced to the trio following Martin’s departure. The Supremes made their debut in 1963 with the song “When the Lovelight Starts Through His Eyes Eyes” and reached number 1 on the pop charts for the first time with the hit “Where Did Our Love Go”. No. 12 The first of 1 single. (Although Wilson had sung the background to all of his hits before 1967, it was later revealed that Motown used the in-house background singers The Andantes for the songs “Love Child” and “Someday We’ll Be Together”).
By 1964, the group had become international superstars. In 1967, Motown chairman Berry Gordy changed the group’s name to Diana Ross & The Supremes, and after a period of tension Florence Ballard was removed from Supremes that July. Cindy Birdsong was chosen instead. The new roster continued to record hit singles, even though there were a few that fell outside of the top 20 chart. Ross left the band in early 1970, and in his farewell performance, Jean Terrell was introduced as Ross’s replacement. According to Wilson, in his memoirs, Berry Gordy told Wilson, which Wilson rejected, that he was considering Syreeta Wright joining the group at the last minute after Terrell was introduced as lead singer. With Terrell, Supremes recorded seven singles that made it into the top 40 over a three-year period. One River Deep / Mountain High was a collaboration with Four Tops. Other recordings prepared by the trio are: “Stairway to the Roof”, “Stony Love”, “Nathan Jones” and “Floy Joy”. Of these releases, only Stoned Love reached # 1 status (R&B Chart). Unlike recent years with Ross, all but one of the hits made it into the Top 20 charts, and two of them made it into the Top 10. During this time, Wilson contributed lead vocals or supporting vocals. Several Supremes songs, including hits like “Floy Joy” and “Automatically Sunshine” and the title song from the 1971 album Touch.
In 1972, Cindy Birdsong left the group after marriage and pregnancy and was replaced by Lynda Lawrence. The popularity of the group and its place on record charts has dropped significantly. For the first time in ten years, two consecutive singles failed to make it into the top 40, including “Bad Weather” penned and produced by Stevie Wonder. Discouraged, Jean Terrell and Lynda Lawrence broke up in late 1973. Scherrie Payne was hired from a group called The Glass House. They signed it under the label Invictus, owned by the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting-production team (Supremes No.1 made up 10 singles of the 1960s). Cindy Birdsong has also returned. Beginning with this roster change, Wilson began performing almost half of the group’s main vocal tasks because he was considered the group’s main attraction and reason to continue. Wilson voiced the lead role in the Top 10 disco hit “Early Morning Love” in 1975. In 1976, the band made their latest hit single with “I’m Gonna Let My Heart Do the Walking”, which was written and produced by Holland-Dozier-Holland Group and featured on the album High Energy, which was the production of H-D-H. Birdsong left again just before the album’s release, and was replaced by Susaye Greene, the last official member of the band whose voice was dubbed with two songs. High Energy generated a flurry of positive reviews and sales, but an ongoing H-D-H effort in 1977 failed to generate much interest. In late 1977, Wilson left The Supremes after a performance at the Drury Lane Theater in London. After Payne and Greene unsuccessfully lobbied to replace Wilson, Supremes officially disbanded.
Wilson fought a protracted legal battle with Motown over Supremes’ direction. Following an off-the-pitch deal, Wilson signed a deal with Motown to work solo, and in 1979 released an album of his own, mostly disco-based. “Red Hot”, a single from the album, gave a modest performance in 90th place. pop charts. In the middle of the production of a second solo album in 1980, Motown dropped it from the list. In the mid-1980s, Wilson focused on performances in musical theater productions such as Beehive, Dancing in the Streets, and Supreme Soul.
In 2001, Wilson starred in the national tour of Leader of the Pack – The Ellie Greenwich Story. A year later, Wilson was appointed by Secretary of State Colin Powell as the “culture-link ambassador” for the US State Department and took part in international events organized by this institution. In 2006, a live concert DVD, Mary Wilson Live at the Sands, was released. Four years later, another DVD, Mary Wilson: Live from San Francisco … Up Close, came out. During this period, Wilson became a musical activist as part of Truth in Music Bill, a law that proposes to stop fraudulent bands performing under the names of rock and roll bands of the 1950s and 1960s, including Motown bands The Marvelettes and The Supremes. . The law was passed in 27 states. Wilson has also given international tours and conferences as well as the United States, and has spoken with various groups around the world. The lecture series “Dare to Dream” focuses on achieving goals and victory over adversity. Wilson’s charitable endeavors include the Race for the Susan G. Komen Cure, American Cancer Society, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, the Easter Seals Foundation, UNICEF, The NAACP, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the All-Star Network, and Figure Skaters. Harlem is a youth organization dedicated to helping kids get into the Olympics. Finally, Wilson became the Mine Action spokesperson for the Humpty Dumpty Institute.
In April 2008, Wilson made a special appearance to attend a social experiment where, on 20/20, pedestrians reacted to a young woman who deliberately sang “Stop! In the Name of Love” to a young woman. Wilson approached the woman and made constructive criticism of her style, unlike pedestrians whose reactions were positive but dishonest. On March 5, 2009 she made a special appearance at the Paul O’Grady Show, which ended with a special performance with O’Grady and Graham Norton. Wilson is the creator of the Mary Wilson / Supremes Dress Collection and toured the collection at Supremes’ vintage stage clothing exhibition. The collection was exhibited at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, and began its UK tour, which began at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on 12 May 2008. Starting with early formal wear from the early 1960s, more than 50 gowns are shown, including celebrity gowns worn by the band in television specials and nightclubs in the 1960s and 1970s.  Wilson released two singles “Life’s Been Good To Me” and “Darling Mother (Johnnie Mae)” on iTunes in 2011 and 2013 respectively. In 2015, Wilson released a new single “Time To Move On”, produced by Sweet Feet Music; The song climbed to the Top 20 on the Billboard Dance charts and reached the top in 17th place as of December 26. As “Red” on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, Mary Wilson holds the record for longest hits in 36 years and seven weeks. Hot “debuted on October 6, 1979, and” Time To Move On “on November 21, 2015.
In 2016, an Indiegogo campaign was launched to help raise $ 35,000 to fund a romantic comedy movie called “Please Don’t Eat Pansies”, the gay-themed romantic comedy. Actors included actor / writer Ronnie Kerr, Andrew Lauer, singer / actor Tom Goss and Mary.
On 15 August 2019, Wilson published his fourth book, Supreme Glamor, with co-author Mark Bego, dedicated to the history and fashion of Supremes, with a detailed section devoted to Supremes gowns in Supremes’ collection.
On August 21, 2019, Wilson was announced as one of the celebrities who will compete in the 28th season of Dancing with the Stars.