Mary Wilson, one of the founders and original members of the Supremes, the innovative vocal group that had over 10 No. 1 singles on the pop charts in the 1960s and was pivotal to the success of Motown Records, died on Monday at her home in Henderson, Nev. She was 76.
The death was confirmed by her publicist, Jay Schwartz. No cause was given.
Formed in Detroit as the Primettes in 1959, the Supremes, whose other two original members were Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, became a household name with hits like “Baby Love” and “Stop! In the Name of Love” whose smooth blend of R&B and pop helped define the Motown sound.
Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown, said in a statement that the Supremes had opened doors for other Motown acts. “I was always proud of Mary,” he said. “She was quite a star in her own right, and over the years continued to work hard to boost the legacy of the Supremes.”