Mary Wilson, the legendary singer and founding member of The Supremes, has died at age 76. Although Mary is best known for her work with the iconic Motown singing group The Supremes, alongside Diana Ross and the late Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson was long respected for her dedication to foster dialogue among people. Mary had a special interest in advocating for the empowerment of girls and young women. Mary’s passion, drive, and sincerity were recognized in 2003 when U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell officially named her a Department of State Cultural Ambassador. In that role she became the first U.S. artist to perform in Pakistan after 9/11. Mary traveled the world for the Department of State giving her signature lecture “Motown: The Nexus Between the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and Music”. Mary’s overseas trips almost always included her six-piece band which accompanied her during her standing room only performances in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa.
Mary Wilson became the HDI’s Celebrity Spokesperson in 2008. She accompanied the Board and Staff of HDI on visits to minefields in Laos and school feeding projects in Cambodia. She often mentioned that one of her favorite programs was to meet young people in norther Sri Lanka at the end of the civil war and share with them the motto she lived by “Dare to Dream”. Mary often maintained contact with the young people she met on these trips and mentored them both personally and professionally. Mary Wilson’s most recent program with HDI was in March 2020 immediately before the start of the COVID lockdowns. Mary toured Slovenia on behalf of U.S. Embassy Ljubljana and then worked with the U.S. Mission to the EU in Brussels to give presentations in the European Parliament. Mary was looking forward to an HDI program to Norway, Finland, and Estonia this coming June.
HDI has lost an incredible member of the team, and a friend. HDI Chairman Dr. Al Khalafalla and the entire Board and Staff of The Humpty Dumpty Institute express our deepest condolences to Mary’s children, extended family, her band, and all who have loved and respected her.