Mary Wilson, a true star and diva in the music world worthy of the recognition and fame reserved for a rock and roll Hall of Famer, died Monday aged 76 years asleep in Las Vegas

Mary had a successful career as one of the founding members of The Supremes Mary was born in Mississippi and moved to St. Louis and Chicago, before settling in Detroit, in Detroit, where she lived in a housing estate when she was 15, she met Florence Ballard in elementary school.The duos performed on a local talent show and were a huge hit and got auditioning invited for Milton Jenkins, who wanted to start a girls group who would compliment his male group called The Primes

The primettes were formed and Milton added Diana Ross and Betty McGlown The primettes were signed in Motown in 1961 and Berry Gordy, director of Motown, changed the name to The Supremes

Betty McGlown left the group to get married and have children, and she was briefly replaced by Barbara Martin, who eventually left the group, some say she was dropped by Berry Mary, Flo, and Diana formed The Supremes and In 1963 they had their first No. 1 hit and would have 12 more

In 1964, Florence was removed from the group when she protested the special treatment Diana was receiving. After all, Flo was the founder of the group and didn’t want to take a back seat. She was replaced by Cindy Birdsong

At the time, many thought Mary Wilson should be the lead singer because of her powerful, beautiful voice, stature, and personality, but that shouldn’t be because Berry Gordy changed the name to Diana Ross in 1967 and The Supremes after the two of 1965 to 1970 had a love affair and had a daughter

One hit after the other, the group broke up in 1970 when Diana said goodbye to the group at a concert in San Francisco. Mary Wilson stuck to the group with a number of other singers. Mary began a career singing her Supreme hits and many other covers written for them but sung by other artists

I met Mary Wilson in 1996 when I was hosting an oldies cruise on Norwegian Cruise Lines The show included Mary, Dion, Paul Revere, Sam Moore, and others. I received 50 of our listeners at the time and it was my part, one To hold a listener party with the artists and to hold three shows in the large theater on the ship

The artists turned around and on the first night I hosted the show I cracked my jokes, introduced the acts and Mary Wilson was the closing act. She came up to me before going on and said she was me for one funny guy stopped and the crowd got ready to enjoy themselves

She then asked me if I would like to have a cocktail after the show finished. I thought I was dreaming: Mary Wilson of The Supremes asked me to have a drink with her I tried to contain my emotions I introduced her on stage and she gave me a big hug and had a killer show with three standing ovations

{We walked to a quiet part of the ship and sat with a bartender whom I jokingly reminded every 20 minutes that this was Mary Wilson, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Mary laughed the first two times and then I stopped

Talking to Mary felt like we have known each other for years.After I asked, she talked about part of the struggle as an all-black women’s group, about the wage differentials, and about her assuming a lesser role in a group, in which some thought she should have starred

We laughed at the music business and the fact that 30 years later her songs were still so popular, and she talked about her struggle to get laws for the original members of musical groups to get the rights to the group’s name There were too many “fake” groups using the name of the legendary acts that made the real hits. That was an amazing discussion

We talked about divorce: she recently got divorced and laughingly ordered a double when the topic came up We talked about comedians: street life, family and cooking We talked until 2:30 in the morning about three hours we met on the third and final evening of the shows for another two hours

I found her strikingly beautiful inside and out I loved her passion for music and the right thing She was humble and grateful for her success and all of my experience left me with a deeper fondness for her and the hard work that goes into making it a true one To become a superstar

Mary Wilson – rest in peace and thank you for giving me the opportunity to enjoy your company

Mary Wilson

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