Monday 20 May 2024


Before the Supremes, before The Jackson 5, and before The Temptations, there was Mary Wells. In the early 1960s, the young Detroit native earned the nickname “the Queen of Motown” when she scored multiple hits for the legendary record label, including her signature song, “My Guy.”

Remembering Mary Wells on The Day of Her Birth.

Mary Esther Wells (born on May 13, 1943, Detroit, MI, U.S.) was an American singer, who helped to define the emerging sound of Motown in the early 1960s.

With a string of hit singles composed mainly by Smokey Robinson, including "The One Who Really Loves You", "Two Lovers", and the Grammy-nominated "You Beat Me to the Punch", all in 1962, including "My Guy" (1964), Wells became recognized as "The Queen of Motown" until her departure from the company in 1964, at the height of her success.

During her most successful year, Wells began having problems with Motown over her original recording contract, which she had signed at the age of 17. She left Motown and recorded songs at other labels.

In 1990, Wells recorded an album for Motorcity Records, but her voice began to fail, causing the singer to visit a local hospital. Doctors diagnosed Wells with laryngeal cancer. Treatments for the disease ravaged her voice, forcing her to quit her music career. Since she had no health insurance, her illness wiped out her finances, forcing her to sell her home. As she struggled to continue treatment, old Motown friends made donations to support her.

Wells died of cancer on July 26, 1992, at the age of 49. R.I.P.

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