Shangri-Las lead singer Mary Weiss dies aged 75

20 January 2024, 11:24

Mary Weiss has died aged 75
Mary Weiss has died aged 75. Picture: Getty/Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Shangri-Las lead singer Mary Weiss has died aged 75.

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Weiss took centre stage of the sound and look of the Shangri-Las, helping to pioneer the girl group era alongside the Ronettes.

The group rose to stardom with a run of hit songs about teenage love and tragedy, including Remember (Walking In The Sand) and Leader Of The Pack - which was later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Weiss' record label announced she had passed in a statement on Friday.

"Mary was an icon, a hero, a heroine, to both young men and women of my generation and of all generations," Norton Records' Miriam Linna said.

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The Shangri-Las after Betty left
The Shangri-Las after Betty left. Picture: Alamy

Tributes have since poured in for the star.

The official Instagram for Ronnie Spector, who co-founded girl group the Ronettes and died in January 2022, said in a post: "We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Mary Weiss' passing.

"She and Ronnie were kindred spirits; two fearless bad girls of the 60s. Join us as we spin the Shangri-Las in her honour."

The group, known as the tough girls of the 60's pop scene, was made up of two sets of sisters, Mary and Elizabeth Weiss, and twins Marguerite and Mary Ann Ganser, forming in the Queens, New York.

After several hits, and opening for the Rolling Stones on their second US tour, the group broke up.

Weiss was absent from the music industry for many decades, before returning in 2007.

She released her first solo record with Norton Records titled Dangerous Game.

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