The Supremes singer Mary Wilson remembers performing in the heyday of the 1960s and sharing the top charts with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
She remembers belting out hits like "Where Did Our Love Go," "Baby Love" and "Stop! In the Name of Love" with Florence Ballard and Diana Ross, often while dressed head to toe in rhinestones and pearls.
She especially remembers singing for Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret in England.
"Here we were, three little black girls from the projects in Detroit, going on to sing for royalty," Wilson said. "That was really something."
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After forming in 1959, the Supremes shot to stardom and became glamorous role models for young black women everywhere.
A pop star and diva in her own right, Wilson's latest project has her paying homage to another artist famous for breaking barriers for black women.
That artist is the inimitable Lena Horne, who made inroads in Hollywood in the '40s as a singer and actress.
For "Stormy Weather: The Lena Horne Project," to be performed Jan. 12 at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Wilson will sing a selection of Horne's most popular songs, including "Stormy Weather," "A Lady Must Live" and "It's All Right with Me."
The show is a multimedia performance based on the biography of Horne by author James Gavin, who is also director and narrator.
Horne first became a star in the '40s singing at nightclubs for white audiences, but she wasn't able to drink or socialize with them afterward, Gavin writes.
She went on to sing in movies, but only in snippets that could easily be cut when the film was played in the South. She refused to act in subservient roles such as maids or servants, which were the norm for blacks in movies at the time. Still, her sultry voice propelled a 60-year career and international fame.
Horne died in 2010 at the age of 92.
Gavin was looking to bring Horne's narrative alive in a production. After he met Wilson by chance, she quickly signed on for the project, she said.
"I grew up with Ms. Horne being idolized and admired by my mom and my aunts and all the ladies in the black community," said Wilson, now 70. "She was always someone I thought about and emulated and looked forward to seeing."
The fact that the show reveals so much about Horne's life through song, audio and video makes it educational as well as entertaining, she said.
"And there will be great gowns." Horne, like the Supremes, "was known for her glamour."
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Mary Wilson of the Supremes performs Lena Horne
WHEN: 8 p.m. Jan. 12
WHERE: Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, 14 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island
DETAILS: www.artshhi.com or 843-842-2787