A rep has confirmed to PEOPLE the singer's death on Saturday
Mary Weiss, singer and lead vocalist of the band Shangri-Las, has died. She was 75.
Weiss’ death was confirmed by a rep from her label Norton Records to PEOPLE on Saturday. The cause of death has not been given at this time.
"It was a joy and an honor to work with Mary on her solo/comeback album, which were her last records," Miriam Linna from Norton Records told PEOPLE, adding, "She was as charming and charismatic as an adult as she was as a teenage idol. A true star."
The late singer, who was born in Queens, New York, is best known for fronting the band Shangri-Las, which reigned supreme in the early 1960s when they released a string of hits including chart-topper “Leader of the Pack,” “Great Big Kiss,” and “Heaven Only Knows.”
Weiss was just 15 years old when she secured her first record deal with the band, which she formed with sister Betty and classmates, twins Mary-Ann and Marguerite Ganser, in 1963. The Queens native had performed with the group at talent shows when producer Artie Ripp approached them to sign with Kama Sutra, per Rolling Stone.
Social media users will recognize the song as one of the most popular sampled on TikTok today. Known on the platform as the “Oh No” song, the chorus performed by Weiss has been replayed in various skits in videos uploaded in recent years.
Shangri-Las were considered among the trending teen groups of their era, alongside The Ronettes and The Supremes, who offered groundbreaking focus within their music on the challenges teenage girls faced at that time. The band toured with the likes of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, but eventually split in 1968, amid legal issues that prevented Weiss from recording elsewhere for the next decade, according to Rolling Stone and Variety.
“My mother kind of signed my life away when I was 14,” she recalled, per Variety. “There’s a storeroom of litigation up to the ceiling. That’s one of the reasons I walked away. I couldn’t go near another record label for 10 years.”
After a couple of reunions with the band in 1977 and 1989, Weiss established herself as a solo artist and released her first and only solo album Dangerous Game with the label Norton Records in 2007.
“Initially I didn’t know how I’d feel about recording again,” she previously told Rolling Stone of going solo. “But when I walked back into the studio, I felt like I was home.”
Tributes have poured in after the news of Weiss’ death.
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“Mary Weiss 💔forever inspiration.” singer Sky Ferreira wrote on Instagram.
A post from the Instagram account of the late Ronnie Spector, co-founder of The Ronettes, honored Weiss with a touching message. “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," a tribute post read.
In a message posted on X (formerly known as Twitter), The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess wrote, "Oh No. Mary Weiss. A role model for rebels has left the building…very possibly on the back of a motorbike. Safe travels x.”
Weiss is survived by her husband.
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