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Supremely disappointed, and saying so

Diana Ross' tour excludes old partner, friend

Mary Wilson proclaims her disappointment over not touring with Diana Ross and The Supremes on the "Return to Love" tour  

April 20, 2000
Web posted at: 5:40 p.m. EST (2140 GMT)

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- She used to make lovely music. These days, Mary Wilson's making noise.

A founding member of The Supremes, Wilson ostensibly is signing books and giving interviews in a Northridge, California bookstore to support "Dreamgirl & Supreme Faith," her paperback encompassing Wilson's career from the 1960s up through the last decade.

But few people seem interested in her writing skills. What they do want to know is how she feels about the "Diana Ross and The Supremes Return To Love" tour, which kicks off in Philadelphia on June 14.

She's not included in the tour, and she's not happy.

"First of all, I want everyone to know that I wanted very much for the reunion tour to happen," says Wilson. "I waited almost 30 years for that tour to happen."

Because she's not included, she says, "My heart is absolutely breaking."

$3 million not enough


Wilson says she has to stand up for herself ... now or never

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"I was very disappointed I was not involved in any of the planning, and that I was called at such a late time to join the tour," says Wilson. According to Wilson, Ross contacted her in December -- months after the former Supreme already had heard about the plans for a tour.

She was less than receptive, Wilson admits. "I don't want to put all the blame on Diane," says Wilson, referring to Ross by her childhood name. "I was extremely touchy when she called me, (and) I did say to her, 'What took you so long?'"

The money wasn't enough, Wilson adds. She was reportedly offered $3 million, and Ross is reputed to have wanted between $15 million and $20 million.

"I had too much of that at Motown, not receiving a fair amount," Wilson fumes. "And now, 30 years have gone by, and I'm still receiving that same pittance.

"I don't think it should be equal (pay), because Diana Ross is the superstar and she has the bigger career and that's fine," she says. "But I still think that Mary Wilson was worth more than that."

'Still waiting'

For the past three decades, eight women, including founding members Ross, Wilson and the late Florence Ballard, have kept the trio going. Former Supremes Lynda Laurence and Scherrie Payne will accompany Ross on the tour.

archive photo
Wilson, pictured here with original members Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, says she has been waiting for a Supremes reunion for 30 years  

"I found Lynda Laurence and Scherrie Payne and I auditioned, hired and got them their record deal at Motown," Wilson says. "I taught them -- not everything they know, because they were excellent singers before I ever met them -- but I taught them how to be Supremes.

"And for them to be hired as The Supremes, I'm very upset about it."

As for the relationship between Ross and Wilson, which dates back to when each was 15, there's not much to report. They've spoken rarely since the group disbanded in 1970.

"There has been a wedge in our friendship ever since she left the group and I honestly do not know why," Wilson says. "I'm the best friend she has ever had in her life. No one would wait around 30 years for a friendship the way I've waited. And I'm still waiting."

'Divas' honor Diana Ross
April 11, 2000
Court decides who reigns 'Supreme'
July 7, 1999
Ain't no valley low enough for diva Diana Ross
May 14, 1999

Official Mary Wilson site
VH1 - 'Divas 2000: A Tribute to Diana Ross'
Official tour site: Diana Ross and the Supremes

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