- Wanda Young, the legendary Marvelettes singer, died at the age of 78.
- Ventress told the outlet that although the group had disbanded years ago, Young was still surprised by the longevity of her music.
Wanda Young, the legendary Marvelettes singer, died at the age of 78.
Her daughter Meta Ventress told The New York Times that Young died on Dec. 15 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease complications.
Young joined the group in the 1960s, replacing Georgia Dobbins, an original member who had to leave due to family obligations. Gladys Horton, who formed the group, originally called the Casinyets, with four other high school classmates, Katherine Anderson, Georgeanna Tillman, and Juanita Cowart shared lead vocal duties with her.
The doo-wop girl group was responsible for the Motown Records hits “Please Mr. Postman,” “Don’t Mess with Bill,” and “My Baby Must Be a Musician,” where Young sang lead. Motown’s first No. 1 hit was “Please, Mr. Postman.”
Only three members of the Marvelettes remained when the group disbanded in 1970. Young released The Return of the Marvelettes, a solo album featuring backing vocals from the Andantes, a female session group. Smokey Robinson, with whom she has worked frequently, produced the album.
Ventress told the outlet that although the group had disbanded years ago, Young was still surprised by the longevity of her music.
“I kept telling her, ‘All these people love you,'” Ventress explained. “And she’d say, ‘Wow,'”
“She didn’t think of the Marvelettes every day,” she continued, “but she never lost that glamour.”
The official classic Motown Twitter paid tribute to the legendary singer on Dec. 16, following the news of her death.
“We are heartbroken to learn of Wanda Young’s death from the Marvelettes. What an impact she’s had on the world of Classic Motown and so many people’s lives, “they penned. “Her name will be remembered for a long time.”
For the album The Marvelettes: Now! in 1990, Young reunited with Horton, who died in 2011.
In 1963, Young married Bobby Rogers of the Miracles but divorced in 1975. Robert III and Bobbae are their children, while Ventress is her daughter from a previous relationship. She is survived by seven grandchildren, a great-grandson, and four sisters and brothers.