Berry Gordy Remembers Mary Wilson: ‘She Was a Trailblazer, a Diva’

Motown founder Berry Gordy remembered Mary Wilson as “a trailblazer” and “a diva” in a tribute following the Supremes singer’s death Monday at the age of 76.

“I was extremely shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of a major member of the Motown family, Mary Wilson of the Supremes,” Gordy said in a statement. “The Supremes were always known as the ‘sweethearts of Motown.’ Mary, along with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, came to Motown in the early Sixties. After an unprecedented string of number one hits, television and nightclub bookings, they opened doors for themselves, the other Motown acts, and many, many others.”

He continued: “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.”

Wilson died at her home in Henderson, Nevada; a cause of death was not immediately revealed. The Supremes were one of Motown’s foundational acts and Wilson appeared on all 12 of the group’s Number One pop hits from 1964 to 1969, a list that includes classics like “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” and “Love Child.”

A publicist for Wilson said funeral services for Wilson would be private due to Covid-19, but a public memorial will be held later this year.

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