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Mary Weiss, Lead Singer of the Shangri-Las, Dies at 75

Mary Weiss, the lead singer of the 1960s pop girl group The Shangri-Las, has died. She was 75.

A representative for Weiss’ record label, Norton Records, confirmed the news of her death to The Hollywood Reporter. No cause of death has been revealed at this time.

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“Mary was an icon, a hero, a heroine, to both young men and women of my generation and of all generations,” Miriam Linna, of Norton Records, said in a statement, obtained by the BBC.

Weiss rose to fame as a teenager with the girl group, which was formed in the Queens borough of New York City. The band consisted of Mary, her older sister Betty Weiss, and twins Marge and Mary Ann Ganser.

The pop group released several hit songs during their time, including “Leader of the Pack,” “Great Big Kiss,” “Remember (Walking in the Sand)” and “Heaven Only Knows.”

Red Bird Records producer-songwriter George “Shadow” Morton initially discovered the group in 1964, but when the small label folded two years later, the girl group signed with Mercury Records. However, due to litigation, Shangri-Las disbanded in 1968.

After, Weiss went on to pursue a career as a commercial interior designer and furniture installer in New York City. She mostly stayed out of the spotlight, except for a couple of reunions the group had over the years.

It wasn’t until 2007 that Weiss decided to return to music, releasing her first solo album Dangerous Game, which included 15 tracks such as “Stop and Think It Over,” “My Heart Is Beating” and “A Certain Guy.” She also went on a short tour for the album.

Weiss is survived by her husband, Ed, and sister, Liz.

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