Ross tweeted on Tuesday morning that she had just woken up to the news of Wilson’s death. Wilson died at her home in Nevada, her publicist said. No cause of death was given.
“My condolences to you Mary’s family,” Ross wrote. “I am reminded that each day is a gift, I have so many wonderful memories of our time together.”
“‘The Supremes’ will live on, in our hearts,” the iconic singer added.
Wilson and Ross helped form the singing group the Primettes in 1959, alongside Florence Ballard and Betty McGlown. The group changed its name to the Supremes and later became a trio composed of Ross, Ballard and Wilson. They signed to Motown in the early 1960s.
The Supremes released their first No. 1 single, “Where Did Our Love Go,” in 1964. Ballard — who died in 1976 — was replaced by Cindy Birdstrong. Ross left the group a few years later and Wilson stayed with the Supremes until the group was officially disbanded in 1977. Wilson later embarked on a solo career and released her self-titled debut album in 1979.
Wilson said on “The Talk” last year that she and Ross were “family.”
“We started singing 1959, we were just 13 years old, we were sisters,” Wilson said.
Motown Museum chair and CEO Robin Terry released a statement on Tuesday saying that the “world has lost one of the brightest stars in our Motown family.”
“Mary Wilson was an icon,” the statement read in part. “She broke barriers and records as an original member of the Supremes, one of the greatest music acts of all time.”
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