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avatar for Mary Wilson

Mary Wilson

The Supremes
Founding Member
While growing up in Detroit’s Brewster Projects, Mary Wilson’s love for singing 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. Together they auditioned for the then fledgling Motown label and were eventually signed. Betty and her replacement Barbara, both dropped out of the group, and the remaining trio of Mary, Flo and Diana became known as The Supremes.
At first, success eluded the girls, who recorded several albums before getting their first hit. Four decades and 40 albums later, what once started as a dream has exceeded beyond Wilson’s wildest imagination. With an unprecedented 12 number-one hits, including 5 in a row. The Supremes set the precedent for supergroup success. 
Wilson worked hard to keep the dream alive even after Florence and Diana left the group. In 1970, Berry Gordy brought in Jean Terrell to replace Ross, with Cindy Birdsong having replaced Florence Ballard. Together, they formed The New Supremes, racking up three top 10 hits.
Throughout the late 70s and 80s, Mary hit the lecture circuit to tell her amazing story. 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.
The overwhelming success of that first book prompted Wilson to pen its sequel, Supreme Faith...Someday We’ll Be Together. 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 called The Supremes Reflections: The Mary Wilson Supreme Legacy Collection. 
In addition to her tireless performing and trips to the studio to record her new album, Wilson, along with The Vocal Group Hall of Fame and Friends Against Musical Exploitation, is lobbying state governments to pass a bill prohibiting bogus musical groups from cashing in on the names and likeness of such famous acts as The Supremes and Four Tops. Wilson and company have proposed an amendment to the Truth in Advertising Act (1968) that would prevent such groups from performing under such classic bands’ names unless they contained an original member or had specific licenses to do so. Wilson’s goal is to garner enough state support to lobby Congress to pass a federal law. Tireless in her contributions to charity and society at large, Wilson was recently named as a spokesperson for The Humpty Dumpty Institute’s initiative to raise public awareness about the worldwide scourge of landmines. As HDI’s Mine Action Spokesperson, Wilson traveled to Sri Lanka and then Laos this past fall, visiting schools impacted by unexploded ordinance left over from the Vietnam War. After helping to detonate 58 bombs and declaring safe zones, she held a charity concert in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In addition, Wilson addressed the annual conference of the US Department of Agriculture on Food Security. 
In 2003 Wilson was named a US Cultural Ambassador by US Secretary of State Colin Powell as part of a “Culture Connect” program. The goal was to improve cross-cultural understanding internationally. Wilson was also recently awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Paine College in Augusta, GA. 
With a successful solo career – and new CD out this spring – an equally successful literary career and her tireless humanitarian efforts, Mary’s future couldn’t look brighter. She is living proof that dreams really do come true!