Find Out How Mary Wilson Celebrates Her Supreme Career
Just like fine wine, Mary Wilson continues to get better with age.
Wilson recently turned 75-years-old, and looks better than some kids who have yet to turn 21. Besides looking absolutely fabulous, the icon is having the time of her life.
Last month at the Big Apple Comic Con, Music & Mojitos caught up with the glamorous legend in an exclusive interview. Wilson discussed the countless endeavors which will keep her busy for the rest of the year, in addition to just how, exactly, she celebrates her birthday every year.
Wilson revealed to Music & Mojitos that she usually celebrates throughout the entire month of March. The original Supreme also travels all over the world, having birthday parties wherever she so pleases. Last year, she had birthday celebrations in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and New York City.
This year, “I just moved into a new house in Las Vegas,” Wilson tells Music & Mojitos. “On March 6, I was unpacking my boxes, and I was drinking champagne. I was in my new house, all by myself, having a ball.”
Viva Las Vegas, indeed.
“Wherever I am, I have a party. My fans know that I always like to party,” exclaims Wilson. “I think people should celebrate their lives, however way they can.”
The Big Apple Comic Con was no exception to Wilson’s rule to party wherever she goes. There was a joyous atmosphere in the air, as fans from all over the world helped Wilson with the nonstop festivities. There was a sweet cake that was in demand, and man did it ever go quickly. People came out in droves to see the living legend, waiting in line for a chance to wish her a happy birthday - and perhaps snag an autograph or a selfie.
Whenever Wilson makes a public appearance at an autograph signing, she is constantly amazed by the dedication of her loyal fanbase.
“They bring all these albums. You look back at them and say, ‘Oh that must have been from the 70s because my hair was down. This one must have been from the 60s because of something else that is very specific.’ They bring back such memories from a whole lot of years.”
Being an essential component in bringing forward a new wave of fashion in the 1960s, Wilson has an incredible collection of threads in her wardrobe. She has a new book coming out that shows off her impressive style. Called Supreme Glamour: The Inside Story of the Original Pop Fashionistas, Wilson shared new details about the book which is set to drop on September 17 in the United States.
“It’s based off of all of our gowns, and the glamorous careers of the Supremes,” Wilson reveals. “There will be many photos, as well as text scattered throughout it.”
It’s not Wilson’s first time penning a book. She previously authored Dreamgirl: My Life As a Supreme and Supreme Faith: Someday We’ll Be Together. Both titles were on the national best-seller list for months on end. Besides putting ink to paper, the founding Supreme member doesn’t plan on slowing down with her performance schedule anytime soon, either. Wilson will have a residency at Café Carlyle from May 28 to June 8. The venue has seen many notable acts pass through it, including Laura Benanti, Alan Cumming, and Judy Collins. Wilson made her stunning debut at the space on November 20, 2018. When she makes her triumphant return later this year, fans can expect the legend to bring her smokey voice and personality in an intimate setting.
“I’m doing an ‘Up Close’ show, which basically consists of American songbook types of performances,” says Wilson.
The singer is looking forward taking center stage, all by herself. Of course, fans first fell in love with Wilson as a member in what is arguably the most famous female singing group in the world, the Supremes. Together with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, the Supremes sold over 12 million records, among endless other accomplishments. When the Supremes started to go through different variations of the group, Wilson realized that it was time to find her own voice, as a solo singer. It was a frightening realization for Wilson.
“After Florence and Diana left, I had other people in the group. There was Jean Terrell, Scherrie Payne, and Susaye Greene. After that, I disbanded the group. I had to go out on my own. I was like, ‘Oh my God. I’m scared to death.’ I had all of these beautiful women singing with me, and I had not done it myself,” Wilson tells Music & Mojitos. “It was vary scary. I had to actually learn how to sing lead. I went to Europe and I toured there for about 3 or 4 years before I came back to the States.”
Wilson’s time overseas came in handy. Facing confidence issues in the States, she was afraid that she wasn’t good enough as a lead singer. Eventually, after living in Europe to redevelop her craft, Wilson realized that she was nowhere near done learning the art of singing. Her decision to focus in and hone her craft paid off in a major way.
“I’m one of the few backing vocalists who has come out in front. My name, Mary Wilson, is as strong as any other lead,” states Wilson. “I think that’s quite an accomplishment. I’m still learning.”
Despite being in the music industry for decades, Wilson tells Music & Mojitos that she’s not even close to where she would like to be. She reminds her younger fans that life never stops. Every day brings forth an opportunity to learn something new.
“You think when you turn 21, you’re grown up. It’s not true. I’m 75, but I’m still growing up,” she laughs. “I feel like I’m 15 in my brain, okay? Don’t think that just because you’re 21 that you know everything. You really don’t. I’ve learned that.”
Unquestionably, everyone is different, and everyone learns differently, too. For Wilson, as long as she loves what she’s doing, she has no issue stepping up to learn everything there is to know about singing. She continues to share her wisdom with the next generation, offering her insight on how to achieve success in any given industry.
“Whatever you do in life, you gotta enjoy it. The passion for what you’re doing has got to be there. If you don’t have that passion, and you’re just in it because you just want to make money, you gotta realize you have to work hard, wether you like it or not,” Wilson explains. “You might as well work hard at something that you enjoy, right?”
While Wilson was in New York, she made time in her hectic schedule to be in attendance for the opening of the new Broadway musical, Ain’t Too Proud on March 21. The show tells the story of the rise of the Temptations in the 1960s, while featuring the timeless music of the iconic group. Hits like “My Girl” and “Get Ready” have been around for over half a century, and have impacted multiple generations.
Watching the show brought up a lot of memories for the “Stop! In the Name of Love” star. Before she gained fame and fortune as part of the Supremes, the group started out as the Primettes. At only 13-years-old, Wilson had her eyes set on getting to the next level. After signing with Motown Records in 1961, they became the Supremes, and the rest was history. The group skyrocketed to the top of the industry with their flamboyant performance style and undeniably catchy tunes.
The Temptations had a similar journey. First known as Otis Wiliams and the Distants, the group had to go through hard times before they saw success. Wilson recalls her relationship with the Temptations, and the struggles that they faced together.
“Otis went on to form the Temptations, and we went on to form the Supremes. We were like brothers and sisters. I saw the show out in LA, and it’s really just great,” Wilson concludes.
Fans of the music from Wilson’s era can purchase tickets to Ain’t Too Proud.