b. 4 March 1944, Greenville, Mississippi, USA. Raised by her aunt and uncle in Detroit, Wilson began singing in her local church choir as a teenager. There she met Florence Ballard, with whom she formed an R&B vocal group called the Primettes, and subsequently the Supremes. Mary remained a backing vocalist with the group from their inception in 1960 until 1977, becoming the senior member after the departure of Diana Rossin 1969, and taking occasional lead vocals from 1974 onwards. At that time, she re-negotiated the Supremes’ recording contract, so that she owned 50 per cent of the group's name, though Motown Records maintained a veto over its use. After the Supremes disbanded in 1977, Wilson filed a legal suit against Motown which was settled out-of-court. She then put together a fresh line-up of the group for a UK tour in 1978, before beginning a solo recording career in 1979. After the Hal Davis-produced MARY WILSON proved a commercial failure, Motown rejected her 1980 demos, and she was left without a recording contract. She continued to tour throughout the '80s as ‘Mary Wilson of the Supremes’, appearing in the 1983 film TIGER TOWN and contributing to the soundtrack album. In 1986, she published a controversial autobiography, in which she attacked both Diana Ross and Motown boss, Berry Gordy. In 1989 she starred in the stage production of THE BEEHIVE in Toronto and in 1990 published the second volume of her memoirs.
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