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Mary Wilson, founding member of the Supremes, dies at 76

Singer Mary Wilson, one of the original Supremes and a key part of its legendary sound, has died at the age of 76. She was a founding member of the group, with Florence Ballard and Diana Ross -- together they helped power Motown in the 1960's. Jeffrey Brown has our remembrance.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    And singer Mary Wilson, one of the original Supremes, has died. She helped power Motown in the 1960s.

    Jeffrey Brown has our remembrance.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    Mary Wilson was a key part of a legendary sound, a founding member, with Florence Ballard and, of course, Diana Ross of the Supremes. They were trailblazers with a string of hits for Motown in the 1960s, after coming together as teenagers in Detroit.

  • Mary Wilson:

    We came from a time when, as Black people, you didn't dream about becoming a star. You didn't dream about making money. It was all about being a human being, being respected, being equal.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    The group would go through changes, most of all Diana Ross leaving to go solo. Mary Wilson remained until the end in 1977, before starting her own solo career.

    Her 1986 memoir, "Dreamgirl," documented those early years, including strained relations with Ross before the split. In a video shared Saturday, she said she was excited to celebrate Black History Month and the release of more of her work, timed to her upcoming birthday on March 6.

  • Mary Wilson:

    And we will see, OK? I have got my fingers crossed here. Yes, I do.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    Wilson died Monday at her home in Las Vegas. No cause of death was given.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Jeffrey Brown.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    No other music like it.

    Mary Wilson was 76 years old.

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