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Born in Mississippi in 1944, singer Mary Wilson got her big break before even finishing high school when Motown Records signed her, along with friends Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, as The Supremes.She soon became a Motown legend and enjoyed a successful solo career after the group disbanded in 1977. Born March 6, 1944 in Greenville, Mississippi, Mary Wilson endured a difficult childhood before rising to music superstardom.So having my parents making you aware as a child that ' You can't do this because you're black.' Let me tell you, we couldn't do certain things." Wilson moved around frequently during her childhood, living for long stretches of time with her aunt and uncle instead of her parents before finally landing in the rough-and-tumble Brewster-Douglass projects of Detroit, Michigan.It was in a Brewster-Douglass grade school where Mary Wilson first met Florence Ballard, another girl who loved to sing; the two friends made a pact never to forget each other if either someday got a chance to make it big.In 1972, The Supremes had their last hit with "Floy Joy," a Smokey Robinson production.Later in the decade, Wilson married Pedro Ferrer and started a family.Gordy told the girls they had to finish high school before he would sign them to a record contract, but they couldn't stand wait.
Though Diana Ross would later become the group's breakout star, Mary Wilson was The Supremes' original anchor.And I was in the eighth grade when I joined the school talent show and I did one of their songs.That was the very first time and I just fell in love with it.Making good on their childhood promise, Wilson brought Ballard into the group. A fourth member, Betty Mc Glown, rounded out the quartet and the girls began establishing a reputation while performing at local gigs and functions.In 1961, The Primettes caught the eye of Motown Records President Berry Gordy.