Mary Wilson, co-founder of The Supremes and a member of the group until they split, has died at the age of 76

The singer died at her Henderson, Nevada home, her publicist Jay Schwartz said, but he did not confirm the cause of death

The group was founded in Detroit in 1959 as The Primettes when Wilson was 15 years old

Wilson was an original member of the group

alongside Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Barbara Martin

Martin left the group before they became successful, and The Supremes continued as a trio

The Supremes became Motown’s most successful act of the 1960s, scoring 12 number one singles in the US

Her first number one was in 1964, where our love went, followed by Baby Love, Come See About Me, and Stop! In the name of love

Baby Love was the only single to hit number one in the UK, but some of their singles hit the top 10 including You Keep Me Hangin ‘On and You Can’t Hurry Love

Singer Beverley Knight tweeted: “Mary Wilson, along with Florence Ballard and Diana Ross, changed the game forever, hit after hit, with regular rotation to this day. A Supreme Titan may have left us, but this legacy will never be surpassed”

Motown Records founder Berry Gordy said in a statement: “I was utterly shocked and saddened to hear that a distinguished member of the Motown family, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, has passed away

“The Supremes opened doors for themselves, the other Motown acts and many, many others. I’ve always been proud of Mary She was quite a star herself and continued to work hard over the years to build the Supremes legacy Mary Wilson was very special to me. She was a pioneer, a diva and will be missed very much “

A funeral for Wilson will be held privately due to Covid-19 restrictions, her family said, but a celebration of her life will be held later this year

Wilson became a New York Times best-selling author in 1986 with the publication of her autobiography Dreamgirl: My Life As a Supreme

Interest in the group’s legacy was renewed following the 2006 release of the film Dreamgirls with Beyoncé Knowles and Jennifer Hudson

The film is based on the story of The Supremes, although Wilson said it doesn’t represent her true story

In 2019, Wilson took part in Dancing With The Stars, the US version of Strictly Come Dancing

Just two days before her death, Wilson uploaded a video to YouTube announcing that she was working on releasing new solo material

Paul Stanley of Kiss tweeted: “I just got on a Zoom call with her Wednesday for about an hour and I could never have imagined it So full of life and great stories Absolutely shocked Rest in the utmost peace Maria”

Tony Blackburn said: “I am sorry to hear that the wonderful Mary Wilson has passed away. She was a very good singer and a very nice person RiP”

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Mary Wilson

World News – UK – Mary Wilson, co-founder and singer of Supremes, dies at the age of 76