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Mary Wells Facts

Mary Wells: The Iconic Queen of Motown

Singer’s Bio

Mary Wells was born on May 13, 1943, in Detroit, Michigan, USA. She was the eldest of three children and grew up in a musical family. Her mother was a church choir singer, and her father was a musician. At a young age, Mary showed a keen interest in music and began performing in church and talent shows. In 1960, when she was just 17 years old, Mary was discovered by Berry Gordy Jr., who signed her to his new record label, Motown.

Age

Mary Wells passed away on July 26, 1992, at the age of 49.

Relationships and Children

Mary Wells was married twice. Her first marriage was to Herman Griffin, a songwriter and musician. They were married in 1967 and had three children together, but their marriage ended in divorce in 1972. In 1977, Mary married investment consultant Cecil Womack, and they had two children together. They divorced in 1982.

Height

Mary Wells was 5 feet 2 inches (157 cm) tall.

Career

Mary Wells was one of Motown’s first and most successful female artists. She recorded her first hit single “Bye Bye Baby” in 1960, and it reached number eight on the R&B charts. She went on to have many more hits, including “The One Who Really Loves You,” “Two Lovers,” “You Beat Me to the Punch,” and “My Guy,” which was her biggest hit and reached number one on both the R&B and pop charts. Mary also wrote some of her own songs, including “The Two Sides of Love” and “Goodbye and Good Luck.” In the mid-1960s, Mary left Motown to sign with 20th Century Fox Records and had a few hits, but she never regained the success she had at Motown.

Top Songs

Mary Wells had many successful songs in her career, but some of her top hits include:

  • “My Guy”
  • “You Beat Me to the Punch”
  • “Two Lovers”
  • “The One Who Really Loves You”
  • “Bye Bye Baby”
  • “What’s Easy for Two Is So Hard for One”

Net Worth

At the time of her death, Mary Wells’ net worth was estimated to be around $20 million.

FAQs

1. How did Mary Wells get discovered by Motown?

Mary Wells got discovered by Motown in 1960 after performing at a talent show in Detroit. Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. was in the audience and was impressed by her performance. He signed her to his new record label, Motown, soon after.

2. Was Mary Wells the first female artist signed to Motown?

No, Mary Wells was not the first female artist signed to Motown. The label had already signed other female artists, including the Marvelettes and the Supremes, but Mary was one of their first and most successful female artists.

3. Did Mary Wells write any of her own songs?

Yes, Mary Wells wrote some of her own songs, including “The Two Sides of Love” and “Goodbye and Good Luck.” She also co-wrote some songs with other Motown songwriters.

4. What was Mary Wells’ biggest hit?

Mary Wells’ biggest hit was “My Guy,” which reached number one on both the R&B and pop charts.

5. Did Mary Wells have any children?

Yes, Mary Wells had five children. Three were with her first husband, Herman Griffin, and two were with her second husband, Cecil Womack.

6. Why did Mary Wells leave Motown?

Mary Wells left Motown in 1964 after her contract expired. She was also unhappy with the label’s handling of her career and felt that they were not promoting her properly.

7. Did Mary Wells ever perform again after leaving Motown?

Yes, Mary Wells continued to perform and record after leaving Motown. She signed with 20th Century Fox Records and had some hits, but she never regained the success she had at Motown.

8. How did Mary Wells pass away?

Mary Wells passed away on July 26, 1992, from cancer.

9. Did Mary Wells win any awards?

Mary Wells was nominated for Grammy Awards four times but never won. She did receive the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1987.

10. Has Mary Wells been inducted into any halls of fame?

Yes, Mary Wells has been inducted into several halls of fame, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2005.

11. Was Mary Wells ever involved in any civil rights activism?

Yes, Mary Wells was involved in civil rights activism during the 1960s. She participated in the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965 and was a vocal supporter of the Civil Rights Act.

12. Did Mary Wells have any notable collaborations with other artists?

Mary Wells collaborated with many other Motown artists, including Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Smokey Robinson. She also recorded duets with fellow Motown artist and former lover, Marvin Gaye.

13. What impact did Mary Wells have on the music industry?

Mary Wells was one of Motown’s first and most successful female artists, paving the way for other female artists in the industry. She had a unique sound and style that influenced many artists who came after her.

14. Was there a movie made about Mary Wells’ life?

No, there has not been a movie made about Mary Wells’ life.

15. What legacy has Mary Wells left behind?

Mary Wells’ legacy is one of talent, perseverance, and innovation. She was one of Motown’s most successful artists and paved the way for other female artists in the industry. Her music remains popular to this day, and she will always be remembered as the Queen of Motown.

In conclusion, Mary Wells was a pioneering Motown artist who made a lasting impact on the music industry. Her unique style and sound continue to influence artists to this day, and her legacy remains strong. Despite facing many challenges in her personal and professional life, Mary persevered and left behind a legacy that will always be remembered.

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