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  Mary Wilson of the Supremes - booking information

 

The Supremes
  starring
   Mary Wilson

  Mary Wilson of the Supremes - booking information

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
-- inducted 1988

  Mary Wilson of the Supremes - booking information  Mary Wilson is a living legend. A member of the world-renowned Supremes, one of the greatest female vocal groups of all time, Mary Wilson has been the only original Supreme carrying on the group's legacy to this day. Representing the group in 1999, Mary accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Supremes at their induction into the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame, becoming the first female rock star to be its recipient. She has come a long way from her years as a dreamy teenager whose only goal in life was to become a singer.

Today, Mary continues to discover her ambitions and goals, embarking on her 40th anniversary in the music business. Mary is still touring extensively and made her first television film appearance in Lifetime Network's Summer Release Television movie, "Jackie's Back," featuring Jennifer Lewis and Tim Curry. A best-selling author of two novels, "Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme" and "Supreme Faith...Someday We'll Be Together," Mary, in addition to performing, has also become a successful businesswoman, lecturer, actress, dancer, and singer of not only pop music, but jazz, rock and R&B.

  Mary Wilson of the Supremes - booking information  "My life has always been in constant change," says Mary. "The everyday challenges of finding new ways to entertain people keep me going, and I refuse to sit back and let the world turn without me."

Ever since she became interested in singing as a young girl, Mary has been driven. Her days as a teenager living in the Brewster Projects on the East Side of Detroit became the meeting place of three young, ambitious girls who all had one goal – to become stars.

Mary's love of singing blossomed when she met Flo Ballard, Diana Ross, and Betty McGlown, who soon became her closest friends. Together they formed the Primettes, a sister act to the Primes (later renamed the Temptations).

  The Supremes starring Mary Wilson - booking information  The Primettes began singing locally, developing a huge following as a local record hop group in Detroit. After auditioning for Motown and initially being turned down by Berry Gordy, the girls refused to give up. Spending their high school years "hanging out" at Motown, the Primettes made sure they were seen at the recording studio every day after school. They eventually bonded with Smokey Robinson and even Gordy, hoping that some day they would be in the recording studio cutting their own songs.

On January 15, 1961, their dream came true. The group changed its name to the Supremes, became a three-woman vocal group with Mary, Flo and Diana, and went on to record 12 #1 hits. These included: "Where Did Our Love Go," "Baby Love," "Stop! In the Name of Love," "You Keep Me Hangin' On," "Love Child" and "Someday We'll Be Together" – establishing the group as the only American act to have had five consecutive #1 hits – more than any other female group in music history.

By 1970, the Supremes had undergone major transition, as Flo Ballard left the group due to physical illness, and Diana Ross went out on her own as a solo artist. Carrying on the dreams that she, Flo and Diana had when they started, Mary replaced her former teammates and kept singing. The group went on to produce hit singles for years to come. The Supremes were America's answer to the Beatles, all in all releasing 33 songs that reached the Top 40. Among these hits were "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" (with the Temptations) "River Deep, Mountain High" (with the Four Tops), "Up the Ladder To The Roof," "Stoned Love," "Floy Joy" and "Automatically Sunshine." During the history of the Supremes, the only member who performed with the group from beginning to end was Mary Wilson.

In 1977 the Supremes officially disbanded, and Mary set out on her own musical path. Her first solo album, "Mary Wilson," yielded the dance classic, "Red Hot." Simultaneously, Mary broadened her horizons in the acting world, starring in the musical "Beehive" in dinner theaters all over Canada; in addition she played roles in the film documentary "Brown Sugar" and Disney's "Tiger Town."

Mary Wilson also became a New York Times best-selling author in 1986 when she released her autobiography, "Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme." The novel sold more than 250,000 copies in hardback, received rave reviews, and became the most successful rock and roll autobiography of all time. It was the definitive tell-all story of the history of her life as a Supreme, and the struggles she faced in order to attain her dreams. As one of the first autobiographies ever written by a celebrity, Mary's story triggered a wave of Motown stories that followed her best-seller.

The overwhelming response to her first book prompted its 1990 sequel, "Supreme Faith...Someday We'll Be Together," in which Mary recalls her struggle keeping the group together after the Motown hit factory came to a grinding halt. She also candidly wrote about her personal life, including her abusive marriage, raising a family, the tragic death of Flo Ballard, and the explosive reunion with Diana Ross on Motown's 25th Anniversary television special in 1983.

Continuing to tour solo, in 1992 Mary recorded another album, "Walk the Line," which became her first studio recording in 13 years. She debuted her first single on the Arsenio Hall Show, also titled "Walk the Line," but found out days later that the independent label had folded.

Still, nothing could keep Mary down, so she dared to dream again. She began telling her story on the lecture circuit, speaking in front of groups all over the world. She also began participating in various charities, donating her time and services to such organizations as The Susan Komen Breast Foundation, The American Cancer Society, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, The Easter Seals foundation, UNICEF, NAACP, The People with AIDS Coalition of Tucson, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, just to name a few.

Then tragedy struck Mary. In 1994, she lost her youngest child, 14-year-old Rafi, in a car accident that nearly claimed Mary's life too. "Sometimes your best lessons stem from those that hurt," says Mary. "The death of my baby prompted me to take a stronger look at my life. In many ways, this tragedy kick-started my life all over again."

Ironically, it was only a few months later that the Supremes were celebrated once again, when they were placed in the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Embracing new challenges, Mary moved to New York to make a fresh start, and enrolled at New York University where she revived her education after 30 years of being a performer. The following year Mary found herself back in the recording studio to record a new single with a new sound, entitled "U," which became a R&B hit on the European charts.

Since then, Mary has maintained a hectic but fulfilling schedule, performing with major symphony orchestras across the country, fusing her pop melodies and symphonic compositions. Mary is also a radio disc jockey who occasionally fills in for vacationing DJs on New York's classic R&B WWRL Radio, The Morning Show. In addition to being the only Supreme to venture into theatre – starring in three off-Broadway plays, including the innovative interactive theatre comedy, "Grandmother Silvia's Funeral," "Mother's Hubbard" (also a comedy), and "Idella's Soul Shack" – Mary also recently recorded her first voice-over on a national commercial for Colgate.

Mary also toured with the Four Tops and the Temptations for two summers. "I was thrilled to be able to perform solo with the groups that I adored as a child," says Mary. "Touring with the guys was a personal pleasure for me." 

Aside from her touring, acting, voice-over, and boxed set projects, Mary Wilson continues to stay on the lecture circuit, speaking to various groups. Her speeches are based on a series of lectures she calls "Dare to Dream." Taking her personal experiences, based on her books, Mary speaks candidly at colleges, universities, and abused victims groups, hoping to help those who have experienced the same traumas and challenges she has faced. Because she has been through so much in her life, Mary is able to touch various groups with her motivational speeches which she tailors to each specific group.

All in all, Mary is still looking for ways to expand herself both as a person and as a professional. "I have a lot yet to do with my life as an entertainer," says Mary. "My fantasy as a child was to please other people through singing and performing. And though my life has taken a few detours, my goals remain the same to this day. I still have much to accomplish, because I'm still 'daring to dream'."

The Supremes starring Mary Wilson may be available for your next special event!

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Genre: R&B
  Styles
   .Classic Rock. / ClassicRock
   .Soul. / xSoul
   .Uptown Soul. / UptownSoul
   .Motown. / xMotown
   .Girl Group. / GirlGroup
   .Early R&B. / EarlyR&B

Years active:
   x60s, x70s, x80s

Born: ..in Mississippi / born nMississippi
         ..in Greenville / born GreenvilleMS
           Mar 6, 1944     

Based: ..in Missouri / based nMissouri
           ..in Kansas City / based KansasCityMO

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Information

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