Mary Wilson – A Trailblazer For Social and Civic Change

Mary Wilson, co-founder of iconic music group The Supremes who died February 8 at age 76, was a true trailblazer who sought to make an impactful difference beyond her musical career. An author, fashion icon, actress and tour performer with international appeal; Mary performed for Kings and Queens as well as Prime Ministers as she traveled the globe entertaining them all with her charming persona and presence while advocating for social and civic change through all she encountered along her way.

Wilson was raised in Detroit’s Brewster-Douglass Projects and discovered her passion for singing at elementary school talent shows. While performing, she met future group member Florence Ballard who would later form part of The Supremes alongside school friend Diana Ross to form its original lineup; until they disbanded in 1977.

Wilson continued her musical passion long after The Supremes disbanded by becoming an author and public speaker, as well as devoting time to activism and humanitarian causes – working for non-profit organizations, serving as U.S cultural ambassador appointed by Colin Powell, and being involved with land mine removal and human rights issues.

As she neared the end of her life, she dedicated herself to passing laws to safeguard artists. A passionate supporter of the Music Modernization Act, she tirelessly called, wrote letters and met with House/Senate representatives explaining its effects on pre-1972 artists as well as why compensation on digital platforms should be fair.

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