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Shangri-Las Lead Singer Mary Weiss Dead at 75

Three members of the singing group the Shangri-Las, Margie and Mary Anne Ganser, and in the center Mary Weiss.

Mary Weiss, the former lead singer of the '60s girl group The Shangri-Las, died on Friday, Jan. 19, at age 75.

Weiss' husband, Ed Ryan, confirmed the news to NPR but did not share details about the circumstances leading to her death.

“Remembering Mary Weiss with much love and affection. Mary was the ultimate,” Miriam Linna, founder of Weiss' record label, Norton Records, wrote on Facebook.

In the 1960s, Weiss and her Shangri-Las bandmates—her sister, Elizabeth "Betty" Weiss, and another sister duo, Marguerite "Marge" Ganser, and Mary Ann Ganser—put out hits like "Leader of the Pack" and "Remember (Walking in the Sand)." The former was a No. 1 pop song in 1964.

In 1968, The Shangri-Las broke up amid litigation, per Deadline. However, Weiss returned to music in 2007 with a solo album titled Dangerous Game.

“I just want to have fun now. And I’m going to," Weiss told New York Magazine. "People can take advantage of you in your youth. And they’re not going to do it again. There are benefits to being a grown-up.”

In the wake of her death, fans took to social media to react and remember the singer. "So long Mary Weiss. Lead singer of the Shangri-Las. No other girl group was more bad a-- than these ladies," one X (formerly Twitter) user wrote. "Still in high school, Queens accents on full. All attitude. Punk rock before punk existed."

Someone else tweeted, "Oh No. Mary Weiss. A role model for rebels has left the building…very possibly on the back of a motorbike. Safe travels x."

Yet another X user wrote, "RIP Mary Weiss. Lead singer of the legendary Shangri-Las. One of the essential Girl Groups of the ‘60s that empowered young girls to dream bigger at a time when society limited women to be secretaries. Their brilliant records with Shadow Morton defined aural cinema."

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