Wanda Young, the former lead singer of the classic R&B vocal group, The Marvelettes, has died at the age of 78.
News of her death was first revealed by Claudette Robinson on Friday, December 17th, after the former Miracles musician shared a statement on Instagram, declaring: “A very sad day for our [Motown] family and music fans all over the world. Wanda was a star on Earth and now she is a star in Heaven. Put on some Marvelettes and turn it up.”
Classic Motown then confirmed her passing, writing: “We are so saddened by the news of Wanda Young of the Marvelettes passing. What an impact she has had on the world of Classic Motown and the lives of so many. Her legacy will continue to live on”.
With the iconic track ‘Hey Mr Postman’, The Marvelettes not only landed themselves a hit but scored the sort of standard that was covered the world over throughout the 1960s and both The Beatles and The Carpenters also later had hits with it.
However, it wasn’t merely a hit that proved influential because it became a standard, it also became Motown’s first number one and helped to spawn the musical revolution that the label heralded. Thereafter the band kept pushing things further by venturing towards proto-disco hits with 1965’s ‘I’ll Keep Holding On’ and ‘Don’t Mess With Bill’ which galvanised Motown soul with a new upbeat pizzazz.
The group disbanded in 1970 as the golden days of Motown began to subside, but the band remained as renowned as ever and in 1995 they were celebrated by being inducted into The Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Hall Of Fame.
As of yet, no cause of death has yet been announced.