Mary Wilson
American singer
Mary Wilson
Mary Wilson is an American singer. A founding member of the Motown female singing group The Supremes, she was the only artist to be a consistent member of the group in its eighteen-year tenure (1959-1977). During its lifespan the group scored 33 top 40 hits, including 12 national #1s on the Billboard pop music charts.
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Adam White's Motown Book Is A Stunner
Huffington Post - 5 months
Adam White's stunning new coffee-table book Motown: The Sound of Young America (Thames & Hudson) is a 400-page non-stop heat wave of compelling narrative and enthralling images about a company whose musical brilliance and chart dominance was matched by its impact on American history. White, a former Billboard editor, has collaborated with Barney Ales -- the right-hand man of Motown founder Berry Gordy almost from the beginning -- to tell the inside story of how Gordy and his creative team of black writers, musicians and producers made the records while Barney and his mostly white team of "backroom believers" made sure those records got played and that the bills got paid. The Miracles during a show in the early 1960s Motown Records Archives. Courtesy of the EMI Archive Trust and Universal Music Group. Adam's encyclopedic knowledge of soul music and deep appreciation for the cultural/political meaning of Motown are as good as it gets. What makes Motown: The Sound of You ...
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Huffington Post article
Celebrity birthdays for the week of March 6-12
Yahoo News - 12 months
March 6: Actor Ben Murphy is 74. Singer Mary Wilson (The Supremes) is 72. Rock musician Hugh Grundy (The Zombies) is 71. Rock singer-musician David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) is 70. Actor-director Rob Reiner is 69. Singer Kiki Dee is 69. Rock singer-musician Phil Alvin (The Blasters) is 63. Actor Tom Arnold is 57. Actor D.L. Hughley is 52. Country songwriter Skip Ewing is 52. Actress Connie Britton is 49. Actress Moira Kelly is 48. Actress Amy Pietz is 47. Rock musician Chris Broderick (Megadeth) is 46. Country singer Trent Willmon is 43. Country musician Shan Farmer (Ricochet) is 42. Rapper Beanie Sigel is 42. Rapper Bubba Sparxxx is 39. Rock musician Chris Tomson (Vampire Weekend) is 32. Actor Eli Marienthal is 30. Actor Jimmy Galeota is 30. Rapper/producer Tyler, the Creator is 25. Actress Savannah Stehlin is 20.
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Yahoo News article
Dog Ears Music: 'Love Is Like Oxygen'
Huffington Post - about 3 years
Clara SmithVaudevillian blues singer Clara Smith ("Queen of the Moaners") was born in South Carolina in 1894. By 1923, Smith relocated to New York, where she cut wax for Columbia Records for almost a decade, racking up over 100 sides. During this time, she was backed by luminaries Louis Armstrong, Charlie Green, Joe Smith, Freddy Jenkins, and James P. Johnson. Collaborations included Bessie Smith and Lonnie Johnson. At the depths of the Great Depression in Detroit, Smith died of heart failure at the age of 40. Remember her with "For Sale (Hannah Johnson's Big Jack Ass)," from Street Walker Blues: Vintage Songs About Prostitution Volume 2 (Digitally Remastered). Buy: Genre: Blues Artist: Clara Smith Song: For Sale (Hannah Johnsons Big Jack Ass) Album: Street Walker Blues: Vintage Songs About Prostitution Volume 2 (Digitally Remastered) B.AloneFrench multi-instrumentalist/remixer/ enigma B.Alone is an alt-ambient-funk powerhouse. Treading on wonder and catc ...
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Huffington Post article
Demolition Begins On Detroit's Brewster Douglass Projects, First Black U.S. Housing Development
Huffington Post - over 3 years
The Brewster-Douglass projects are coming down. The towers of the abandoned housing development can be seen from many vantage points in Detroit. To some, they're an beloved icon; to others, a symbol of Detroit's decline. For a few squatters, they might still be home, but not for long. On Wednesday, the long-planned tear down of the projects began, marked by a press conference with Mayor Dave Bing and Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which awarded the city $6.5 million for the first stage of demolition. “The demolition of the Frederick Douglass Homes represents another important and positive step in Detroit’s journey toward revitalization,” Donovan said in a statement. "We are honored to be a part of helping to write a new chapter for this community. The people of Detroit are determined and resilient -- and the Obama Administration is committed to supporting local leaders as they rebuild.” Closed since 2008, the Frederick Douglass ho ...
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Huffington Post article
Video: Mary Wilson and congressional backup singers serenade Rep. Dingell
CBS News - over 3 years
Mary Wilson, of the Supremes, serenaded the longest-serving member of Congress in history, Rep. John Dingel, D-Mich., with the help of some Capitol Hill backup singers. Gayle King reports.
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CBS News article
Mary Wilson sings in ceremony feting Rep. Dingell
Yahoo News - over 3 years
WASHINGTON (AP) — A backup chorus that included Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sebelius and actress Linda Carter has helped singer Mary Wilson serenade congressman John Dingell in a ceremony honoring the longest-serving member of Congress.
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Yahoo News article
Mark Anthony Neal: Reflections: The Supremes and the Politics of Image
Huffington Post - about 4 years
The meteoric rise of The Supremes in the 1960s can be best measured in the context of singular tragic events in American history: When President John F. Kennedy was murdered in Dallas in November of 1963, few knew who The Supremes were, yet when Dr. Martin Luther King was murdered in Memphis in April of 1968, Diana Ross and the Supremes appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to help bring sense to the tragedy. That many of the front-line Civil Rights activists like Bob Moses, Diane Nash, Stokely Carmichael and the Greensboro Four -- Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair, Jr., and David Richmond -- were barely out of high school, like The Supremes, is a reminder of how these young folk literally changed the world. While no one will ever mistake the Freedom Summer of 1964 for a groundbreaking appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, the Supremes and Motown were waging a battle on behalf of African-Americans within the realm of image making. The success of the Sup ...
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Huffington Post article
Malerie Yolen-Cohen: 'Supremes' Tourism In Philadelphia
Huffington Post - about 4 years
The stunning Rakia Reynolds, President of Philadelphia fashion-design incubator Skai Blue Media, sat on a small stage with Mary Wilson and a selection of Wilson's knock-out gowns from her Supreme's days. "I am so star struck," Reynolds gushed, "to interview this legendary woman!" "Oh, don't worry," Wilson, svelte, beautiful and dressed casually in black knit pants and jacket, said humbly. "It's just us girls." Mary Wilson, second only to Diana Ross in name recognition when the topic turns to one of Motown's most profitable singing groups, is currently promoting her specially curated exhibit, "Come See About Me: The Mary Wilson Supremes Collection," which will be on display at the African American Museum in Philadelphia from January 25 - June 30, 2013. A showcase conceived by Wilson, who has by default become keeper of the Supreme's gowns (those she can find), this exhibit "brings to mind three little Black girls who dared to dream at a time when it was an impossibl ...
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Huffington Post article
Housing project where Supremes lived coming down
Fox News - over 4 years
A vacant Detroit housing project that was home to the Supremes before the talented trio struck gold with Motown is coming down. Demolition of the massive Frederick Douglass Homes — known to most Detroit residents as the Brewster projects — could begin in early 2013, Mayor Dave Bing announced Thursday. Covering several city blocks, the complex bathes part of downtown and surrounding neighborhoods in shadow and fear and is a symbol of the city's decline. A $6.5 million federal Housing and Urban Development grant will cover the cost of tearing down the 75 condo-style apartments, two 6-story buildings and four 14-story towers. Soil remediation — the removal of any below-ground pollution — is included in that tally. "It's going to take us, probably, the better part of a year to get everything down," the mayor told reporters at a news conference in front of the hulking complex. "This total area will be cleaned up." ...
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Fox News article
San Francisco is proud of its Fury
San Francisco Chronicle - over 4 years
San Francisco is proud of its Fury There was a World Series game that night, too, of course, but it turned out that real-life events eclipsed even the sports distraction. Campos went outside and spoke to the mourners against violence, a theme he echoed in a public statement he released Monday, after Mission District celebrations caused neighborhood damage. In Miami, he says, he received regular calls from P. Diddy's staff wanting to know whether to plan parties on his boat or in his house. -- When Mary Wilson finished her Venetian Room show, Sunday's season opening of Bay Area Cabaret, the crowd rushed out to the Fairmont's Laurel Court, where there was TV and, with two outs to go, they watched the Giants win the Series. At the M.H. de Young Museum on Friday night, printmaker Kathan Brown, who 50 years ago founded Crown Point Press and whose new memoir is "Know That You Are Lucky," talked about her life's work as a printmaker and printmaking enabler. Knowing ...
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Our Favorite Instagrams This Week!
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Here at HuffPost Style, we are constantly sending eachother links, passing around our favorite gifs and taking photos of anything (literally, anything) that excites us. And this week was no different. In this post we've rounded up our favorite Instagrams of the week (in case you missed them). Highlights included a snap of our Senior Features editor interviewing the ever-stylish Iris Apfel and a photo of the beautiful costumes worn by Mary Wilson of "The Supremes." Check out the photos below and make sure to follow us on your iPhone or Android. Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest.
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Huffington Post article
Mary Wilson: 'If You Were Overexposed, You Were A Slut'
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Whenever I study the covers of classic soul records from the 1960s and '70s, I can't help but marvel at how sophisticated female singers like Gladys Knight, Mary Wells, Tammi Terrell and Diana Ross dressed. As my grandmother would say, "They were sharp!" To round out their amazing vocal talents, these Motown artists were outfitted in extravagant gowns carrying thousand dollar price tags by Hollywood designers Bob Mackie, Michael Travis and Pat Campano -- an expense that surely didn't come easy, even for a successful black record company. Yet, I'm sure I'm not the only one who secretly wishes that the ladies who currently rule the Billboard charts would take a cue from musical acts of yesteryear by revealing less and showing more of their vocal range (that is, if they have it). Surprisingly, Mary Wilson, one of the founding members of The Supremes, understands this desire to flash some major skin. The 68-year-old singer believes that women today are in that space where ...
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Huffington Post article
A stake by the lake Financial Times Blogs - over 4 years
Zell am See, a lakeside town in Salzburg, Austria, has beauty and bustle and is popular with home and overseas buyers, writes Mary Wilson
Article Link: Financial Times Blogs article
Swiss movement Financial Times Blogs - over 4 years
A north London district is stepping out of the shadows as a number of high-end developments come on to the market, writes Mary Wilson
Article Link: Financial Times Blogs article
Conquered by Normandy Financial Times Blogs - over 4 years
Calvados offers chic coastal towns, rural splendour and, of course, its famous apple liqueur, writes Mary Wilson
Article Link: Financial Times Blogs article
Maintain a healthy diet for kids active in sports
The Wichita Eagle - almost 5 years
Young athletes need nutritious foods for top-notch performance. “In order to properly fuel their bodies for sport, youngsters need to eat a daily diet that focuses on adequate calories, particularly in the form of carbohydrates, to support exercise and growth, and adequate protein,” registered dietitian Mary Wilson said. A board-certified specialist in sports dietetics and director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics at Eastern Kentucky University, Wilson recommends that parents follow the 2010 dietary guidelines for Americans and for feeding their active youngsters. Read more
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The Wichita Eagle article
Ripe for restoration Financial Times Blogs - almost 5 years
Garfagnana is unspoilt and far less touristy than further south of Tuscany with a topography that is rugged, hilly and forested, writes Mary Wilson
Article Link: Financial Times Blogs article
Dick Clark, Marion Jones, Vertigo Man Rides On!
CBN - almost 5 years
My wife Nedra of the Ronettes knew, worked and toured with Dick Clark back in the sixties. She introduced me to him at an awards ceremony in California a number of years ago. Upon our introduction he remarked: “Scott, I slept with your wife for a month on a road tour years ago!” Dick was referring to a caravan of music stars who toured around the country in a bus performing concerts at theatres in numerous states. They all piled into a bus together, Dick with them, and traveled from town to town. Hence Dick’s humorous remark. It was no luxury bus in those days but rather they slept sitting up in their seats, some even climbing up into the luggage rack. When they did check into hotels, or eat in restaurants,  Dick would not frequent those facilities that would not accept the integrated musicians that constituted the music artists both black and white. It’s also interesting to note that in those days, nobody was doing drugs, or getting drunk. Although, it seemed everyone smoked! ...
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CBN article
Matt Catingub returns with a new pops season
KHON 2 - almost 5 years
The inaugural Hawaii Symphony pops season was announced today. It features some of Hawaii's favorite entertainers. Raiatea Helm will join Henry Kapono and Na Leo for the first concert of the series next week Wednesday at the Blaisdell Concert hall. Matt Catingub, who founded the Honolulu Symphony's pops series in 1998, returns as maestro. "I just want to say from the bottom of my heart I'm so thrilled to have the opportunity to come back and pick up where we left off," says Matt Catingub, Maestro. Mary Wilson of the Supremes performs with the symphony April 26th. Kenny Loggins will be at the Waikiki Shell on June 10th.
Article Link:
KHON 2 article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Mary Wilson
  • 2015
    Age 70
    In 2015, Wilson released a new single called "Time To Move On" produced by Sweet Feet Music and the song reached the Top 20 on the Billboard Dance charts peaking at #17 as of December 26.
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  • 2011
    Age 66
    Wilson released two singles on iTunes called "Life's Been Good To Me" and "Darling Mother (Johnnie Mae)" in 2011 and 2013 respectively.
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  • 2009
    Age 64
    On March 5, 2009, she made a special appearance on The Paul O'Grady Show which ended in a special performance with her, Paul O'Grady and Graham Norton.
    More Details Hide Details Wilson is the creator of the Mary Wilson/Supremes Gown Collection and has had the collection on tour in an exhibition of the Supremes' former stage wear. The collection has been on exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, USA, and on May 12, 2008 commenced its UK tour, starting at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Over 50 sets of gowns are shown in rotation, starting with early formal wear from the early 1960s, and including famous gowns worn on television specials and nightclub appearances by the group in the 1960s and 1970s.
  • 2008
    Age 63
    In April 2008, Wilson made a special appearance on 20/20 to participate in a social experiment involving pedestrians reacting to a young woman singing "Stop!
    More Details Hide Details In the Name of Love" with intentional amateurishness. Wilson approached the woman and gave her constructive criticism towards her style in contrast to the pedestrians whose reactions were positive yet dishonest.
  • 2006
    Age 61
    In 2006, a live concert DVD, Mary Wilson Live at the Sands, was released.
    More Details Hide Details Four years later, another DVD, Mary Wilson: Live from San Francisco... Up Close, was released. During this period, Wilson became a musical activist having been part of the Truth in Music Bill, a law proposed to stop impostor groups performing under the names of the 1950s and 1960s rock and roll groups, including Motown groups The Marvelettes and The Supremes. The law was passed in 27 states. Wilson has also toured and lectured internationally, as well as across the United States, speaking to various groups worldwide. Her lecture series, “Dare to Dream”, focuses on reaching goals and triumph over adversity. Wilson's charity work includes the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the 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 of Harlem, a youth organization devoted to helping children towards entering the Olympics. Most recently, Wilson became the Mine Action spokesperson for the Humpty Dumpty Institute.
  • 2001
    Age 56
    In 2001, Wilson starred in the national tour of Leader of the Pack – The Ellie Greenwich Story.
    More Details Hide Details A year later, Wilson was appointed by Secretary of State Colin Powell as a "culture-connect ambassador" for the U.S. State Department, appearing at international events arranged by that agency.
  • 1999
    Age 54
    In late 1999, a proposition to reunite the 1967–1970 lineup of the Supremes of Ross, Wilson and Birdsong for a Summer 2000 tour, under their "Diana Ross & The Supremes" moniker was negotiated by Ross and SFX.
    More Details Hide Details Wilson publicly stated she was contacted only after several months into preparation and was offered 2 million dollars. Publicly she stated she countered with 5 million and settled for 4 million, and after accepting, Wilson (and Birdsong) were informed their offers were withdrawn. The tour instead went forward with Wilson's former employees, Scherrie Payne and Lynda Lawrence, but was cancelled mid-tour because of low ticket sales, following a spate of high scrutiny by the public and press of the absence of Wilson and the dispute between versions of events. That year, Wilson released an updated version of her autobiographies as a single combined book. That year, an album, I Am Changing, was released by Mary Wilson Enterprises, produced through her and her-then management, Duryea Entertainment.
  • 1995
    Age 50
    In 1995, Wilson released a song, ".U", for Contract Recording Company.
    More Details Hide Details A year later, Wilson released the song, "Turn Around" for Da Bridge Records.
  • 1992
    Age 47
    A year later, she signed with CEO Records and released the album, Walk the Line, in 1992.
    More Details Hide Details The label filed for bankruptcy the day after its national release. Wilson maintains she was deceived about the financial status of the label. The available copies of the album quickly sold out however and Wilson continued her success as a concert performer. Wilson fought two court cases with former employees over usage of the Supremes name; Supremes' replacement singers Lynda Lawrence and Scherrie Payne and a former backing vocalist from her 1980's concert work, Kaaren Ragland. In both cases the courts found for the employees. This prompted Wilson to take a high-profile role in lobbying for "Truth in Music" legislation, which prohibits usage of musical acts names, unless an original member of the group is in the act or the group is properly licensed by the last person to hold right of title to the name. So, far her efforts have succeeded in more than 28 U.S. states.
  • 1990
    Age 45
    Wilson then recorded a cover version of "Ooh Child" for the Motorcity label in 1990.
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    Four years later, in 1990, Wilson released her second memoir: Supreme Faith: Someday We'll Be Together, also a best seller, which focused on the Supremes' in the seventies.
    More Details Hide Details In between this period, Wilson became a frequent guest on several TV shows and talk shows and began regularly performing in Las Vegas casinos and resorts.
  • 1986
    Age 41
    Wilson found major success once more with her memoir: Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme in 1986.
    More Details Hide Details The book remained on the national best-seller list for months and established a sales record for the genre. The book focused on the early career of the Supremes and its success during the 1960s.
  • 1981
    Age 36
    Wilson and Ferrer divorced in 1981.
    More Details Hide Details Wilson is also adoptive mother to her cousin, Willie. In January 1994, Wilson and her 14-year-old son Rafael were involved in an accident on Interstate 15 between Los Angeles and Las Vegas when their Jeep Cherokee veered off the highway and overturned. Wilson sustained moderate injuries; Rafael's injuries were fatal. Note: Wilson did not appear on all 12 1968–1970 Diana Ross & the Supremes singles, only the five listed above. The seven singles she did not appear on are listed below: Motown releases: Nightmare/Motorcity releases: CEO releases: Other releases: Unreleased:
  • 1980
    Age 35
    Midway through production of a second solo album in 1980, Motown dropped her from their roster.
    More Details Hide Details Throughout the mid 1980s, Wilson focused on performances in musical theater productions including Beehive, Dancing in the Streets and Supreme Soul.
  • 1979
    Age 34
    At 36 years and seven weeks, Mary Wilson holds the record for the longest gap between hits in the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart as "Red Hot" debuted on October 6, 1979 and "Time To Move On" debuted on November 21, 2015.
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    Wilson got involved in a protracted legal battle with Motown over management of the Supremes. After an out-of-court settlement, Wilson signed with Motown for solo work, releasing a disco-heavy self-titled album in 1979.
    More Details Hide Details A single, from the album, "Red Hot" has a modest showing of #90 on the pop charts.
  • 1977
    Age 32
    In late 1977 Wilson left The Supremes following a performance at London's Drury Lane Theatre.
    More Details Hide Details After Payne and Greene unsuccessfully lobbied to get a replacement for Wilson, the Supremes officially disbanded.
  • 1974
    Age 29
    Wilson married Pedro Ferrer in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 11, 1974.
    More Details Hide Details Their union produced three children: Turkessa, Pedro Antonio Jr., and Rafael.
  • 1971
    Age 26
    During this period Wilson contributed lead or co-lead vocals to several Supremes songs including the hits "Floy Joy" and "Automatically Sunshine" and the title track of the 1971 album Touch. In 1972, Cindy Birdsong left the group following marriage and pregnancy and was replaced by Lynda Lawrence.
    More Details Hide Details The group's popularity and place on record charts dropped significantly. For the first time in a decade two singles in a row failed to break into the top forty, including the Stevie Wonder penned-and-produced Bad Weather. Discouraged, Jean Terrell and Lynda Lawrence both departed in late 1973. Scherrie Payne was recruited from a group called The Glass House. They were signed to the Invictus label, owned by the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting-production team (who composed ten of the Supremes #1 sixties singles). Cindy Birdsong also returned. Beginning with this line-up change, Wilson began doing almost half of the group's lead vocal duties, as she was considered the group's main attraction and reason for continuing. In 1976, the group scored their final hit single with "I'm Gonna Let My Heart Do the Walking" written and produced by Holland-Dozier-Holland Group and included on the H-D-H produced album High Energy, Birdsong again departed, just prior to the album's release and was replaced by the group's final official member Susaye Greene whose voice was dubbed over two songs. High Energy produced a flurry of positive reviews and sales, but a follow-up H-D-H effort in 1977 failed to ignite much interest.
  • 1970
    Age 25
    Ross departed from the group in early 1970, and at her farewell performance Jean Terrell was introduced as the replacement for Ross.
    More Details Hide Details According to Wilson in her memoirs, Berry Gordy told Wilson that he thought of having Syreeta Wright join the group in a last-minute change, after Terrell had already been introduced as lead singer, to which Wilson refused. With Terrell, the Supremes recorded 7 top-forty hit singles in a three-year period. One River Deep/Mountain High was a collaboration with the Four Tops. Others included "Up the Ladder to the Roof", "Stoned Love", "Nathan Jones" and "Floy Joy". Of these releases, only Stoned Love reached a # 1 status (R&B Chart). Unlike the latter years with Ross, however, all but one of the hits Automatically Sunshine succeeded in reaching the top 20 charts, with two breaking into the top 10.
  • 1967
    Age 22
    In 1967, Motown president Berry Gordy changed the name of the group to Diana Ross & The Supremes and, after a period of tension, Florence Ballard was removed from the Supremes that July.
    More Details Hide Details Cindy Birdsong was chosen to take her place. The new lineup continued to record hit singles, although several stalled outside of the top 20 chart range.
  • 1962
    Age 17
    Wilson graduated from Detroit's Northeastern High School in January 1962.
    More Details Hide Details Despite her mother's insistence she go to college, Wilson instead focused on her music career. The Primettes signed to Motown Records in 1961, changing their name to The Supremes. In between that period, McGlown left to get married and was replaced by Barbara Martin. In 1962, the group was reduced to a trio after Martin's departure. The Supremes scored their first hit in 1963 with the song, "When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes", and reached number-one on the pop charts for the first time with the hit, "Where Did Our Love Go", becoming their first of twelve number one singles for which Wilson was credited as member of the group (it later emerged that Motown used in-house background singers, The Andantes, for the hits Love Child and Someday We'll Be Together). By 1964, the group had become international superstars.
  • 1959
    Age 14
    Mary Wilson first met Florence Ballard at an elementary school in Detroit. The duo became friends while singing in the school's talent show. In 1959, Ballard asked Wilson to audition for Milton Jenkins, who was forming a sister group to his male vocal trio, the Primes.
    More Details Hide Details Wilson was soon accepted in the group known as The Primettes, with Diana Ross and Betty McGlown.
  • 1944
    Born on March 6, 1944.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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