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Mary Weiss, the former lead singer of the 1960s pop group The Shangri-Las, died on Friday. She was reportedly 75 years old.
Her husband, Ed Ryan, confirmed her death to NPR, but did not provide further information.
The group was made up of two sets of sisters, Mary and Betty Weiss, and twins Marge and Mary Ann Ganser, who first met in elementary school. Shangri-Las formed in the working-class borough of Queens in New York City, and Shangri-Las' tough-girl image helped them stand out from other girl groups.
Weiss was just 15 years old when she recorded the group's first hit, “Remember,” in 1964. She also said Fresh air Host Terry Gross In 2007, Weiss preferred men's tailored trousers to women's high-rise trousers and chiffon dresses, but he “didn't think much about the image.”
“I saw other groups that had money and support behind them, and they were very stylishly dressed from the beginning — we were pretty much there in street clothes,” Weiss said. “But when we started making money, we designed our own clothes and made them.”
By 1968, the group disbanded in the face of lawsuits — which Weiss said she was forbidden from discussing until decades later — leading to her disillusionment with the industry.
She got a job in the accounting department of an architectural firm where she worked her way up to becoming the chief purchasing agent Fresh air.
In 2007, she returned to music with her first solo album Dangerous game. For her comeback, Weiss was able to catch up with the times. She created her own page on the social media platform MySpace – where she is Tell New York magazine on timeShe found an appetite for her music — and took her new gig to the South by Southwest independent music festival in Austin.
“I just want to have fun now. And I will. People can take advantage of you when you're young,” Weiss told the magazine. “And they won't do it again. There are benefits to being an adult.”
“We remember Mary Weiss with so much love and affection. Mary was the best,” Miriam Lena, who runs Norton Records, Weiss' record label, said in a Facebook post.
. “Professional creator. Lifelong thinker. Reader. Beer buff. Troublemaker. Evil problem solver.”