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Donna Summer’s Illness Surprised Friend The Supremes Member Mary Wilson

Hip-Hop Media Training

Mary Wilson, founding member of The Supremes, was shocked when she received the news Thursday that her good friend, Donna Summer, died.

"I didn't know she was ill," Wilson told Yahoo! Music. "In the entertainment business, we all kinda talk, you know. Never heard that she had been ill. She's young. Sixty-three is like our 46. She's young, great talent."

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Mary Wilson

Though Summer had earned the distinction as the Queen of Disco, Wilson said her talent transcended a genre classification. "She was the Disco Queen, but she was more than that. I knew her very well and she was a great artist." She said, "Even though it was Disco, she has a very unique voice and sound."

Wilson remembers hanging out with Summer over the years. "It was maybe in the '80s that I spent a lot of time with her, here in L.A. Fun! Fun girl. Very, very down to earth. You see her up on the stage it's one thing but off stage she was really very, very down to earth. She performed in Vegas some years back and I went because I live in Vegas and we were upstairs in the beautiful suite. I think it was the Elvis Presley suite or something like that. And we had a ball. And she ordered all kind of food. She loved to eat. Fun. She was a fun lady."

Camera and video editing: Robert Gardner

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