Gladys Knight Mourns Death of Supremes Founding Member Mary Wilson

by Matthew Wilson

Motown legend Gladys Knight mourns the late Mary Wilson in a heartfelt post. Wilson was one of the founding members of The Supremes.

In a social media post, Knight reflected on the decades-long friendship that she had with Wilson as well as Wilson’s musical talents. Knight actually got her start early in her career as an opening act for The Supremes. Many consider both Knight and the Supremes some of the greatest acts to come out of Motown. Knight joins fellow singer Diana Ross and others in remembering Wilson and her legacy.

On Twitter, she wrote, “Mary Wilson brought something wonderful to the Supremes. The warmth in her voice and music came from her soul. She was a good friend` and I will miss her smile, her voice, and her heart.”

Mary Wilson’s Life and Career

Wilson passed away suddenly on Feb. 8 at 76-years-old. The singer garnered national attention starting during the 1960s. Among the founding lineup, Wilson sang alongside Ross, Betty McGlown, and Florence Ballard under the name The Primettes. Changing their name to The Supremes, the musical group rocketed to success and became one of the most successful acts of their genre.

The quartet (trio on the albums) performed songs like “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” and “Stop! In The Name of Love” among others. More than just success, Wilson and the group acted as trailblazers for black artists and musicians everywhere. The Supremes helped break down barriers and entered into the mainstream with their music. Their music entered the pages of history. And Wilson’s legacy shines bright in Motown and the world over.

“Their influence not only carries on in contemporary R&B, soul and pop, they also helped pave the way for mainstream success by Black artists across all genres,” a press statement read.

After her Supremes days, Wilson continued to stay busy all the way up to her death. She was a humanitarian and contributed to charities that raised money for HIV/AIDS and trying to end world hunger. She also wrote in her spare time and was a published author. Some of her books chronicled her singing career in The Supremes. She also appeared on “Dancing with The Stars” as well.