To honor her memory, let’s take a look back at Wilson’s incredible career and her net worth.
Mary Wilson rose to fame as a founding member of The Supremes
Wilson’s career began in 1959 when she became a member of the singing group The Primettes.
The group consisted of Wilson, Diana Ross, and Florence Ballard. Later, they became The Supremes. The three women signed with Motown Records in 1961 and soon skyrocketed to fame with hit songs such as “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” and “Stop! In the Name of Love.”
By 1964, The Supremes were international superstars and one of Motown’s most successful musical acts. However, in 1967, the group began to fall apart after Motown president Berry Gordy changed their name to Diana Ross & The Supremes. That caused tensions to arise between Ross and the other members of the group.
Ballard, who was long unhappy with her dwindling role, was eventually removed from The Supremes. She battled alcoholism and poverty until she died in 1976.
In 1970, Ross left the group to pursue a solo career, leaving Wilson the only founding member in The Supremes. Other women joined the group over the years to keep their act going, but Wilson left The Supremes in 1977, right before the group officially disbanded.
Mary Wilson’s legacy
Following her departure from The Supremes, Wilson went on to find success in musical theater, starring in productions such as Beehive, Dancing in the Streets, and Supreme Soul throughout the mid-1980s.
In 1986, the singer released her memoir Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme, which focused on The Supremes’ success in the 1960s and included shocking revelations about the group. The book remained on the national bestseller list for months and continues to be one of the best-selling rock ‘n’ roll autobiographies of all time.
Over the next few decades, Wilson remained in the spotlight as she continued releasing books and music as a solo artist. She also competed in season 28 of Dancing with the Stars.
Though she didn’t reach the level of fame Ross acquired after becoming a solo artist, Wilson still made her mark in the entertainment industry as a “trendsetter who broke down social, racial, and gender barriers.”
Mary Wilson’s net worth
At the time of her death, Wilson was worth $8 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Per a statement to CNN from her longtime friend and publicist, Jay Schwartz, the singer “passed away suddenly” at her Nevada home.
Wilson is survived by her daughter Turkessa, son Pedro Antonio Jr., 10 grandchildren, a great-granddaughter, as well as her sister and brother.