Diana Ross is reacting to the sudden death of Mary Wilson, one of her co-founding members of The Supremes, who died unexpectedly on Monday evening at 76 years old. Ross, 76, spoke out on social media Tuesday morning, saying she woke up to the sad news and sent condolences to Wilson's family. "I am reminded that each day is a gift," she wrote, fondly remembering the "so many wonderful memories" of her time with Wilson. "The Supremes will love on in our hearts," she concluded.
Wilson's longtime friend and publicist Jay Schwartz confirmed her death, telling Entertainment Tonight in a statement that she died unexpectedly in her home in Henderson, Nevada. No cause of death has been released. Wilson is best known for her work with The Supremes alongside Ross and the late Florence Ballard. The iconic Motown group became on the biggest musical acts of the 1960s and created over a dozen No. 1 singles. Some of their biggest hits include "Where Did Our Love Go," "Baby Love," "Come See About Me," "Stop! In the Name of Love" and "Back in My Arms Again."
I just woke up to this news , my condolences to you Mary's family ,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 💕— Ms. Ross (@DianaRoss) February 9, 2021
Aside from her long-spanning musical career, Wilson was also known for her work as a motivational speaker, an advocate for social change and a cultural ambassador for the United States. In recent years, Wilson was beloved on Dancing With the Stars' Season 28 in 2019, where she and pro partner Brandon Armstrong placed 12th. Fans of The Masked Singer thought she may have been Miss Monster in Season 3 in 2020, but Miss Monster was eventually revealed to be Chaka Khan.
Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown, paid tribute to Wilson following the news of her death, saying he was "extremely shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of a major member of the Motown family." He said, "The Supremes were always known as the "sweethearts of Motown."
"I was always proud of Mary. She was quite a star in her own right and over the years continued to work hard to boost the legacy of the Supremes," he continued. "Mary Wilson was extremely special to me. She was a trailblazer, a diva and will be deeply missed."
Wilson is survived by her daughter Turkessa, her son, Pedro Antonio Jr., as well as 10 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, her funeral services will be private; the family is planning to hold a celebration of her life later this year.