Mary Wilson, longest-reigning original Supreme, dies at 76

National

FILE – In this April 4, 2019, file photo, Mary Wilson, a former member of The Supremes, is escorted after singing the national anthem before a baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals in Detroit. Wilson died in Las Vegas, publicist Jay Schwartz told KABC-TV. When she died and other details weren’t immediately clear. She was 76. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

LAS VEGAS (NewsNation Now) — Mary Wilson, the longest-reigning original Supreme, has died at 76 years old.

Wilson died Monday night at her home in Las Vegas and the cause was not immediately clear, said publicist Jay Schwartz.

“We are in shock,” Schwartz told NewsNation.

Wilson, Diana Ross and Florence Ballard made up the first successful configuration of The Supremes. She stayed with the group until it was officially disbanded by Motown in 1977.

The group’s first No. 1, million-selling song, “Where Did Our Love Go,” was released June 17, 1964.

Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records, released a statement on Wilson’s passing. It said, in part, “I was extremely shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of a major member of the Motown family.”

“The Supremes were always known as the ‘sweethearts of Motown,”’ Gordy said.  “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.”

Schwartz says a celebration of Wilson’s life will take place later this year.

The family asks in lieu of flowers, that friends and fans support UNCF.org and the Humpty Dumpty Institute.

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