Supreme Mary Wilson reacts to 'Dreamgirls'

Here's a film reviewer who didn't just watch 'Dreamgirls.' She lived it. Big wigs, fancy gowns, torrid romances, groundbreaking triumph, clashing egos and heartbreaking loss. Full Story
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MaryGoAway

AOL

#1 Jan 3, 2007
A true star shines through the fog and smoke.
If Mary was such a talent and such star why was she not selected to be the lead singer of the Supremes after Diana left? Has anyone gone on YOUTUBE and watched Mary Wilson sing. It is dreadful....truly dreadful. Florence did not have a great voice. It was mediocre at best. You cannot compare it to Gladys Knight or Aretha Franklin or even Jennifer Hudson. Mary get over it and move on and leave Diana Ross alone. Mary is only hurting herself in the industry. When Diana takes the stage one cannot take their eyes off of her. She gives it all to the audience while Mary is trying to stay on key. While Mary was then singing backup to the new lead of the Supremes, Diana had countless number 1 records and sell out concerts worldwide.
I have never heard Mariah, or Beyonce, or any other singer say they admire Mary, yet they adore Diana. The only people going to see Mary Wilson and the Suprmemes if any these days, are the naive people who think that they are going to hear Diana's sound and are terribly dissapointed when Mary sings. My momma always told me if you cannot say something nice then don't say anything at all, but then that is the only way it seems that Mary Wilson can make any money; by writing whinny books. What I am most proud of is that Diana Ross has raised 5 wonderful kids who adore her. As the bible states "by your fruits you will know the kind of person one truly is" and Diana'kids love their mom. She is a great mom and to me that is what determines greatness in a person.
neil

Perth, Australia

#2 Jan 3, 2007
marygoaway
your observations are sound on this one.
mary had a ball as a supreme, she rode it for years.
supreme life was good for her but it was way back in another lifetime for her.
she admitted herself that she agreed that florence should leave the group way back in 1967.....at first i empathised with mary but now, after relentlessly pursuing the flo got done wrong line.....it just seems that mary is somehow just making up for her guilt and using something tragic to keep herself in the limelight....to me she is using her passed away friend for publicity and point scoring.....i am over mary....yes i have seen the youtube clips of mary and i cannot believe how her fans write in and comment how wonderful she sings....she sounds dreadful and uses diana's panter during breaks...
indeed....move on mary
reggie caldwell

United States

#3 Jan 9, 2007
mary wilson is lost and sick.if she ever thought that she could sing a song at any level,it was just that,a thought.she looked better laying up with tom jones.go back to him and whine a tune.
Kevin Collins

United States

#4 Jan 10, 2007
Well this Supremes fan was saddened and miffed when Wilson announced she would not join the "Return To Love" tour for "whatever" reasons she came up with. People forget the Supremes had many hits AFTER Ross left and even Ross herself had invited ALL former members. What a show THAT would have been !!! I didnt buy Ross singing with Lynda Laurence and Sherrie Payne in the background (noone else did either)......but Wilson ruined things for these talented ladies as well.
Kenny Johnson

AOL

#5 Jan 16, 2007
I've always said the same thing as far as Mary is concerned.If she had the goods as lead singer they would not have brought Jean Terrell in to do that. I saw Holland-Dozier-Holland at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and they publicly stated from the stage that they were the ones who decided the Supremes would no longer share lead vocals. They told Berry and he told the group. The only singles selling were the ones with Diana on lead! Lok at the album credits,HDH produced those records. Florence may she rest in peace was very talented, but villifying Diana is way off base. Most of Motowns groups had one lead singer anyway.
Ricky Counters

New Fairfield, CT

#6 Jan 17, 2007
Have any of you heard the early Diana Ross led songs??? She was no great singer; she indeed has developed over the years and that's what it takes, time to develop! Mary could have had she not been such a party girl and Florence indeed had the pipes to further develop; songs are written with a particular voice in mind, that's why the Marvelettes were able to change lead singers, the songs went from Gladys to Wanda (who at the time wasn't a lead singer) but the songs were written for her voice and boy did they soar. Comparing Mary to Diana isn't fair nor is it fair to compare Jean to Diana; all distinct voices! I would suggest that Mary leave the Ross led songs in the past and further develop her own style; she does have one and ballads appear to be her forte.
Ricky Counters

New Fairfield, CT

#7 Jan 17, 2007
Give Mary a break; she's not where she should be because of the obvious... Ross/Gordy. Everybody knows that! Sure she was riding the wave of success and didn't want to rock the boat, of the three singers she was the less talented. If Flo could be ousted of course she too could be replaced! It takes years to develop and Ms. Ross has indeed developed into a formidable singer; not the greatest singer but she has "style" put her up against Mariah, Aretha or Gladys and she's blown away, Gladys and Aretha are her contempraries, right? Mary, sing YOUR style not the style of the songs written for Ross' voice, that's where she falls short of the mark. The Supreme songs of the 60s were written for a soft voice which is what Ross has. Not a strong alto which is what Wilson has.
Jim D

Wampum, PA

#8 Jan 21, 2007
Mary Wilson can sing. She is great on ballads and soul/r&b with a rock twist(similar to Tina Turner) and had she been able to release her 2nd Motown album in 1980, she would have been able to show her own style. The You Tube videos have been posted by folks associated with the FLOS(Former Ladies of the Supremes), 2 of whom appeared with Diana Ross in her ill-fated Return to Love Tour and the hidden agenda is to show Wilson in the worst possible light since she sued them for using the Supremes' name without any original members. Wilson has been very instrumental in getting legislation passed on copycat groups and groups without any original members. Mary needs to show what she can do but she is in the Catch-22 situation that she makes more money when singing songs associated with the Supremes. Mary's deep and sensual contralto is very different from a high and fluty soprano that are associated with these songs. Mary wasn't chosen because her voice is so different from Diana Ross' and by pushing her into the background she lost confidence in her voice whereas Florence Ballard when facing the same became very difficult because she couldn't silence her pride. Don't let those You Tube videos fool you-the same people have posted 70's Supremes videos bashing Mary & her dancing ability while pregnant.
neil

Saint Kilda, Australia

#9 Jan 21, 2007
just because mary thinks she's good at ballads and sang the ballads early on in the supremes and repeated how wonderful she was at them endlessly does not mean she was good at them.....look at simply the best live by mary on youtube,,,,,revolting

maybe good is the best level to give the ballads

compare mary's early ballads with MY HEART BELONGS TO ME with leads by Diana...that one made me sit up and notice wayyyyy back.

mary had a pleasant voice that fitted well with diana's and florence's...nothing more, nothing less

do you mean the ballads that failed to rivet anyone's attention???? even the ballads on the last supremes albums in the mid 70's failed to register in a big way.....i have kept some of what the critics said at the time....do you want me to quote them here???
Terell Lasane

Great Mills, MD

#10 Jan 22, 2007
I have never found the either-or strategy productive when evaluating art. What about both-and? Most people want to rank order singers in the world on some vague, technical standard--with which few of us will ever agree. Diana Ros has a great voice. Mary Wilson's voice is very different. I have never enjoyed the sound of it, but I am sure that there are those who do. Diana Ross has an energy, a power, a charisma that is natural. There is innate talent there, and she honed it with hard work and self-study.
Mary Wilson was a passive sycophant whose only claim to fame was writing bitter, revisionist history biographies (not autobiographies) about Diana Ross, the only person who has ever given her access to fame in her life. She had a tremendous start but due to poor work ethic, minimal natural talent, and an obsessive, jealous personality disorder, she never realized the prime of her artistic potential. She fancies herself an author, but she is little more than a tabloid author who rode to the best seller list with one of the most petty accounts of self-serving history that has ever been seen. When the world grew weary of listening to her expose the elusive "Diana Ross mystique" she faded into pathetic obscurity until an opportunity arose when she could bash Diana Ross again. Take notice, Mary and her many fans: Diana Ross does not obsess over Mary Wilson or over the six year frame of her career. She has conquered endless vistas of entertainment since then. Mary, please move on and get over that. You were all in your early twenties. You are now in your early sixties. Diana's legend is unassailable, and nothing you write or aspersions you cast is going to change that. You embarrass yourself and you embarrass the image that you stood for with your petty, immature rants. Diana hasn't spoken to you more than four times in the last fourteen years. Don't pretend like you know her and understand her. To pretend like you can explain her motivations based on a superficial friendship of forty years ago is pathetic. Time to move on and take responsibility for your own life. You say that you are so blessed and have such a rich life, but you are stuck in a time warp and cannot let the fact go: Diana Ross is a superstar. You are a background singer and a bitter, bitter individual. How sad!
Singer for Mary

East Brunswick, NJ

#11 Jan 23, 2007
My Dear if you ever hat the chance to see Mary Wilson
live you might think different. But you seem to be just a big Diana Ross fan, and with that how could you have a open mind.
Jeff

Pleasanton, CA

#12 Jan 23, 2007
Mary needs to get over the fact that Diana went on to become a superstar-she had her chance when berry asked for a different lead singer she was adamant about her choice-it is said-and that's why berry ignored the supremes after diana's departure-nobody takes into consideration how foregiving diana actually is that she even attempted to reunite with mary especially after mary's book-mary does'nt get the fact that most of diana fans love her-because of her strength-mary has said during the RTL tour-that it was'nt about the money-mary we love diana-and not just about the songs-it's her personality-which you really seem to be lacking-or it can't shine through because your to busy trying to make a buck off of slaming diana e-please tell the world how much money diana has giving you in your troubled times while your busy calling her a bitch-i mean thats only right-tell the whole story
neil

Perth, Australia

#13 Jan 23, 2007
terell and jeff,

Right on!

mary has spent far too much energy on living in the past.

move on already!

by the way singer of mary, i have seen mary in concert......with about 10 other people in the venue...she was ok.
tom

United States

#14 Jan 26, 2007
i have seen and met mary many times.she is one of the sweetest people ever.she realized that her voice was not that great so she took voice lessons...well you should hear her now.she sounds like tina turner.i have read both books of hers,and even had her sign them. don't get me wrong i love diana too.
Ashley

Baltimore, MD

#15 Jan 27, 2007
I could not agree with Terell and Jeff more. I read Mary's books and to call them autobiographies would be a stretch. There were sooooooo many inconsistencies, sometimes even within the same paragraph! She makes several catty comments regarding Diana sleeping with married men. What the hell did she think Tom Jones was while she was sleeping with him? Mary seems blissfully unaware of her hypocrisy and it's annoying to say the least. Her thinly veiled insults towards Diana in her books are terribly hurtful while the mention that Diana supplied the money so that she and her children would not be without a house (and a luxurious one at that) is quickly glanced over and that's the end of it. She makes mention of the fact that Diana wants nothing to do with her. Who could blame her?!?! Is she really so narcissistic that she can't see that her books are her desperate attempt to stay in the limelight with her lifesaver being Diana? Her claims are offensive to someone not associated in any way, what should she expect of the person she is leeching onto riding her coattails as much as she can? Diana has admitted that she so valued and needed her privacy that she came across as cold to several people and she wishes she hadn't. Why must you point out her flaws. As far as the voices go, I've not cared for Mary Wilson's vocals at all. And while there was no doubt that Florence had a powerhouse voice, I honestly don't care for hers either. Berry Gordy had it right when he said that Diana had crossover appeal. People not even alive until 20 years after Diana left the group still eat up her songs with them. As far as the background vocals, Wilson was proven dispensable. She wasn't even singing background for Love Child and another huge Supremes song (the name eludes me right now) and nobody noticed. Mary tried to come out swinging from obscurity but she could only doing it volleying accusations regarding Diana. Can anyone honestly blame Diana for avoiding her like the plague? She reached out to help her in times of need and while her charity was accepted, it obviously wasn't appreciated.
Terell Lasane

Peapack, NJ

#16 Jan 28, 2007
Singer for Mary--
I have never begrudged Mary Wilson any success or her just rewards. However, I find it more than ridiculous for Mary to blame others for her lack of success. Diana Ross was too busy forming her own career to worry about stopping opportunities for Mary and the other Supremes. Further, it is well noted but NEVER discussed by Mary that Diana helped Mary out in times of personal difficulty, and she did the same for Florence Ballard when she was alive. Mary has had one recording contract since 1979, and that contract folder after a year. Mary is beautiful, she was a Supreme, and she was well known. What happened? How does Mary explain that? After Florence's death, Mary decided to make a career on singing, but not the beautiful ballads that she and others profess she does so wonderfully . Instead, Mary sang a single song of woe and tragedy about how Diana and so many others directly or indirectly cheated her out of her rightful success. Diana has always said that "It's about the music, not who sings them." By contrast, Mary has assumed obsessive territoriality over the Supremes songs and Supremes music. She has recently hit the headlines by moving legislators to prevent others from singing songs that are a part of the public domain and to honor a legend that she was a part of. How is that being supportive of other young acts? The smear campaign that she undertook with the RTL Tour was the biggest testament of her vindictive, sour personality. Mary's obsessive personality sadly blocks her from seeing that Diana has gathered and kept up her enormous fan base because of the strength of her spirit and the positive energy she conveys on stage and off. Diana has made things happen in her life. She fills our hearts with a magic of the power of love, the power of dreams, and the limitless possibilities of hidden potential in all of us. When Diana encountered failure, tragedy, and loss under the public microscope, she dusted herself off and began anew. She didn't blame others for the many tragedies she has sadly experienced. Instead, she found the strength to begin again and started over. No, she wasn't the strongest voice, the prettiest face or the "most popular" but she was the most talented and determined, the most passionate, and the most inspirational. She is also the one that the world embraced as "their star." The world made Diana a star and has kept her a star. The world STILL loves her and this is why she still performs to thunderous standing ovations (TVLand, Billboard Awards). Her voice, her teeth, her hair, her svelte figure, OF COURSE have all changed gracefully with age, but the strength of her mighty spirit has gotten bigger and provides the light to her enormous star. Diana exudes a strength of spirit that we can all draw from and by which we become inspired, and she carries herself with dignity, pride, and self-love. She is the author of her own destiny and refuses to let jealous others tear her down--although they have certainly tried. Mary Wilson has never exuded strength or self-determination. She displays instead pettiness, jealousy, and misdirected rage without any modicum of personal accountability. She never discusses her own role in her lack of success. She is forever blaming someone else for a slight of some kind. Who has a chance to appreciate her "alleged talent" amidst her tales of woe and despair? Dianaís message is one we can all grow from: "I will survive" I will "Carry On" and "I Ain't Been Licked." By contrast, Mary leaves the message: "Look what all these people have done to me and why my life isnít better!: Please, take charge of your own destiny. Get over the 60s and join the new millennium. If you can really sing, sing a different song. The one that you have sung for the last forty years is too cliche, and few--save past-oriented, victim-oriented people--want to hear that bitter noise coming from your mouth anymore!
jellyroll

United States

#17 Jan 28, 2007
AMEN TERRELL..........Ive come to love ALL the Supremes over the years for what they offered to the group. You NEVER hear the others...Jean Terrell, Sherrie Payne, Cindy Birdsong, Lynda Lawrence, or Susane Greene up on TV ....or in the press making anything but positive statements about Ross and their experiences as a Supreme. I will always love Mary but you are right on.........get on with it.......my GOD even the Beatles broke up !!! AND.....you are correct when you say there is more to a star than looks or voice.......Part of the magic that is Diana Ross is her endless energy and lust for life. I wish I had half of it !!!
neil

Westminster, MD

#18 Feb 12, 2007
The legend of the fabulous Supremes will always be greater than the sum of their parts. Sadly, although she contributed greatly to the group's success, Miss Ross is and will always remain merely a part....a knock-off of the legendary Supremes. In some ways, Ross is in competition with herself.....the work she did with the Supremes and her solo career. Unfortunately, she likes to promote herself as though the phenomenon known as The Supremes never existed and it was always about just HER. This egomaniacal attitude on her part gets her into trouble every time. No, Mary and Flo were not the singers that Diane was and they didn't have her stage presence either; however, they were all parts of the most famous trio in musical history. There is nothing that I, you or Miss Ross can do about that! It is history!!

“"Same as it ever was..."”

Since: Jan 07

Nashville, TN

#19 Feb 14, 2007
I think you have things completely wrong, Neil. Diana Ross has far and away surpassed the Supremes, both in record sales and legend.

And a lot of people don't realize how hot the Andrew Sisters and later the McGuire Sisters were. Certainly, the Andrew sisters were as sensational as the Supremes in their time.

But, I think when you talk of legends you talk of things people can learn from them. We learn little from the Supremes. They were automatons -- wind them up, put them in front of the mic and they sing.

Diana Ross was something different. She had the genius' eye. She saw things nobody else from that group or period saw.

Did she become a monster? Yes. But becoming a monster was the only way to rise above the BS. No one survived Motown except Ross and Gordy. Even the great Smokey Robinson succumbed to a drug addiction it took him years to beat off.

And I now believe Diana saw something in both Florence and Mary that made her know neither had what it takes to win, after which she destroyed them the way a lioness will kill off lame cubs.

And such is Diana's genius -- a primal instinct for survival so powerful that it overcomes and crushes everything in her way.

Few of us have such an awesome quality. Few of us would have been able to so ruthlessly destroy Florence or ignore Mary for almost 50 years. Few of us would have been able to go through life without any friends or married to some white person and living in the extreme white cultures for the past 40 years.

Ms. Ross was able to do all this because behind those huge Alien-like eyes is a brain and soul of a mutant; that is, a woman as heartless and calculating as creatures not seen since the Jurassic period; specifically, raptors.

ricland
rita

Vancouver, WA

#20 Feb 14, 2007
Ric Ricland wrote:
I think you have things completely wrong, Neil. Diana Ross has far and away surpassed the Supremes, both in record sales and legend.
And a lot of people don't realize how hot the Andrew Sisters and later the McGuire Sisters were. Certainly, the Andrew sisters were as sensational as the Supremes in their time.
But, I think when you talk of legends you talk of things people can learn from them. We learn little from the Supremes. They were automatons -- wind them up, put them in front of the mic and they sing.
Diana Ross was something different. She had the genius' eye. She saw things nobody else from that group or period saw.
Did she become a monster? Yes. But becoming a monster was the only way to rise above the BS. No one survived Motown except Ross and Gordy. Even the great Smokey Robinson succumbed to a drug addiction it took him years to beat off.
And I now believe Diana saw something in both Florence and Mary that made her know neither had what it takes to win, after which she destroyed them the way a lioness will kill off lame cubs.
And such is Diana's genius -- a primal instinct for survival so powerful that it overcomes and crushes everything in her way.
Few of us have such an awesome quality. Few of us would have been able to so ruthlessly destroy Florence or ignore Mary for almost 50 years. Few of us would have been able to go through life without any friends or married to some white person and living in the extreme white cultures for the past 40 years.
Ms. Ross was able to do all this because behind those huge Alien-like eyes is a brain and soul of a mutant; that is, a woman as heartless and calculating as creatures not seen since the Jurassic period; specifically, raptors.
ricland
I think that there is also a side of Ross that no one is privvy to except maybe her children. I think that it could be a side so dark that it renders her quite helpless.Her brother told me years ago (70s) that she "indulged" but it wasn't untill recently that her indulgences became public.

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