Mary Wilson Is Back On The Dancefloor With Posthumous ‘Soul Defender,’ Out Now

The previously unreleased track arrives just ahead of what would have been Wilson’s 79th birthday.

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Mary Wilson - Photo: Donald Kravitz/Getty Images
Mary Wilson - Photo: Donald Kravitz/Getty Images

“Soul Defender,” the new digital single by the late co-founder of the Supremes, Mary Wilson, is now on release. The previously unreleased track, out on Sweet Feet via UMe, arrives a few days ahead of what would have been Wilson’s 79th birthday, next Monday (6).

Wilson’s legacy with the Supremes was newly underlined at last month’s 65th Annual Grammy Awards, at which the groundbreaking group received the Lifetime Achievement Award. The presentation took place as part of the Recording Academy’s Special Merit Awards event at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles. Mary’s daughter Jurkessa and Florence Ballard’s daughter, Lisa Sabrina Ballard, accepted the award.

The single is the first release by Wilson since 2021’s The Motown Anthology, on which she had been working with Motown/UMe at the time of her death. The album gathered together many of her featured lead vocal appearances with the Supremes and in her solo career, including the whole of her self-titled 1979 set, which was also reissued in expanded form.

Soul Defender (Radio Edit)

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Mojo’s review of the album noted that in later years, “dignity intact, Wilson made intermittent returns to music up until her death from cardiovascular disease in February 2021, aged 76, yet her lasting legacy is as one-third of one of the world’s biggest-selling vocal groups. Songs sung by another may form the bulk of most compilations, but there’s plenty of vibrant, vital evidence here to dispel any notions of her being just along for the ride.”

“Soul Defender” has an insistent and appealing disco rhythm in keeping with Wilson’s affinity with the dancefloor, which was on full display during her 2019 appearances in season 28 of the hit TV series Dancing With The Stars. The new release is written by German singer and writer Billie Ray Martin, who hit the UK Top 10, and No.1 on the Billboard Dance Club chart, with 1995’s “Your Loving Arms.”

Buy or stream “Soul Defender.”

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