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Wanda Young (1943–2021), singer with the Marvelettes

by Linnea Crowther

Wanda Young was a singer with the Motown group the Marvelettes, who sang lead vocals on hit singles including “Don’t Mess with Bill.”

Motown stardom

Young joined the Marvelettes just after they signed with Motown Records, as they were working on the song that would make them stars, “Please Mr. Postman.” Young sang backing vocals on the track, the first No. 1 hit for Motown. She went on to sing lead vocals on several of the Marvelettes’ singles including the million-selling “Don’t Mess with Bill” as well as “I’ll Keep Holding On,” “The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game,” and more. In the group’s later years, she was the primary lead singer as well as one of the two original members remaining in the group. Young left Motown and the music business when the Marvelettes disbanded in 1972, though she returned for a reunion album in the 1990s.

Notable quote

“[W]hile those old Motown records are definitely still so popular because of that Motown Sound, I also believe some of their longevity is down to the love we shared with one another back then. You know, it’s something that’ll always linger and be there, regardless of how jealous one act might feel about another.” —from a 1990 interview with Pete Lewis

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Tributes to Wanda Young

Full obituary: Yahoo!

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