Mary Wilson of The Supremes
Classic Rock, Soul, Motown, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, Female, 1960s, 1970s
Ms. Mary Wilson still performs with the same passion as she did singing with the original Supremes, but the world renowned celebrity is now using her fame and flair to promote humanitarian efforts to end hunger, raise AIDS awareness and encourage world peace.
While Ms. Wilson is best known as a founding member of the world’s most famous female trio – they recorded 12 No.1 hits from 1964 to 1969 – the legendary singer’s career did not stop there, and she continues to soar to untold heights.
Ms. Wilson is a best-selling author, motivational speaker, businesswoman, former U.S. Cultural Ambassador, the recipient of an Associate Degree from New York University in 2001, and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Paine College in Augusta, Georgia. In 2007, Ms. Wilson was named international spokeswoman for the Humpty Dumpty Institute, a platform she uses to condemn the death and destruction caused by hidden landmines and unexploded ordnances in less developed countries.
It was a vision of musical stardom as a Detroit teen that inspired Mary Wilson to co-found one of the most successful female singing groups in recording history – The Supremes. Since then, Wilson has gone on to be a part of dozens of hit records, has written a best-selling autobiography, performed on stage and screen, lectured and toured the world, and continues to be looked up to as a singer who set the standard for females in the recording industry.
While growing up in Detroit’s Brewster Projects, a young Mary Wilson had long fantasized about being a performer, her love for singing having blossomed when she befriended Florence Ballard, Betty McGlown and Diana Ross at age 13. Fueled by their mutual love of music and their ambition for stardom, the quartet formed a singing group, The Primettes. When Betty left the group to get married, the girls recruited Barbara Martin. Together they auditioned for then fledgling Motown label and were eventually signed. Barbara dropped out of the group, and the remaining trio of Mary, Flo and Diana became known as The Supremes.
Throughout the late 70s and 80s, Mary hit the lecture circuit to tell her amazing story. She still lectures to this day, her “Dare To Dream” circuit including such organizations at American Cancer Society, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, UNICEF and many more. Wilson eventually put her story to print, becoming a best-selling author with her autobiography, Dreamgirl…My Life As A Supreme. Dreamgirl went on to sell over 250,000 copies in hardback, becoming one of the most successful rock and roll autobiographies of all time.
In 1988, The Supremes were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, receiving the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, which Wilson personally accepted. Seven years later, the Hall launched an exhibit of the “Supremes” gowns for the museum’s opening in Cleveland, Ohio. Wilson had been personally archiving the gowns for years before the exhibit. The gowns, including the Butterfly dresses worn on their 1968 television special, are currently on tour now.
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