Wilson’s longtime friend and publicist, Jay Schwartz, confirmed the unfortunate news Tuesday (February 9), telling CNN that the Motown legend had “passed away suddenly this evening.”
According to reports, Wilson died at her home in Henderson, Nevada. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a private celebration of life ceremony will be held in Wilson’s honor later this year. No cause of death was given.
The trailblazing recording artist, who launched her singing career in Detroit in 1959 as one-third of what was then known as “The Primettes,” the all-female singing group went on to change their name to “The Supremes,” of which pop star Diana Ross was also an original member.
The Supremes remain, to date, Motown’s most successful group of the 1960s, with 12 number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 including “Stop! In the name of Love,” “Baby Love,” “Where Did Our Love Go” and “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.”
Regarded as a “trendsetter who broke down social, racial, and gender barriers,” Schwartz noted that Wilson’s stardom surpassed music success. In her lifetime, she was a bestselling author, businesswoman, and US Cultural Ambassador.
“Wilson used her fame and flair to promote a diversity of humanitarian efforts including ending hunger, raising HIV/AIDS awareness and encouraging world peace," said Schwartz in a statement.
Wilson is survived by her daughter, son, grandchildren, a sister, and brother.
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