Mary Weiss died, How did singer of Shangri-Las die? Cause of death and obituary

Mary weiss
The goddess known as Mary Weiss of Shangri-Las fame sadly has passed away (Image via Facebook)

LEGENDARY SINGER MARY WEISS PASSED AWAY:  The music world mourns the loss of a legendary figure whose voice resonated through the decades. Mary Weiss, the iconic lead vocalist of the 1960s girl group The Shangri-Las, has passed away, leaving a void in the hearts of fans and fellow musicians alike.

Renowned for her emotive performances and the timeless hits of The Shangri-Las, Weiss’s legacy transcends eras, shaping the sound of an entire generation.  The news of her passing comes as a shock, marking the end of an era and prompting reflections on the indelible impact she made on the music community. In this tribute, we celebrate the life and contributions of Mary Weiss, a true pioneer of the golden age of pop. Keep reading.

Mary Weiss Died: Saying Goodbye to the Iconic Voice

Mary Weiss, the lead singer of The Shangri-Las, has left an indelible mark on the music world with her passing at the age of 75. Alongside hits like “Leader of the Pack” and “Remember (Walking in the Sand),” Weiss’s unmistakable voice and stage presence defined the girl group era, making her an icon of the golden age of pop.

What happened to Mary Weiss?

News of Mary Weiss, the vocalist from The Shangri-Las, has been confirmed to have passed away, as reported by Miriam of Norton Records. Mary had recently marked her 75th birthday on December 28th.

Also, her death, confirmed by her husband Ed Ryan, comes with a veil of mystery surrounding the cause. As fans mourn the loss of a musical heroine, they reflect not only on Weiss’s chart-topping contributions but also on the enigmatic circumstances of her departure. Mary Weiss’s legacy remains etched in the annals of music history, a testament to the enduring influence of a girl group icon.

Cause of death

Mary Weiss, the influential frontwoman of the 1960s New York band Shangri-Las, has passed away at the age of 75. Miriam Linna of Norton Records, which released Weiss’s solo album “Dangerous Game” in 2007, confirmed her death to Rolling Stone on Friday.

Linna expressed that Mary was not only an icon but a hero to multiple generations. Despite being celebrated at events like the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, Mary chose not to revisit her famous songs like “Leader of the Pack” or “Remember (Walking in the Sand).” Although encouraged to perform again, she opted not to do so.

These timeless songs still hold a special place in the hearts of many, with one even earning the 26th spot on Billboard’s list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time. Mary and The Shangri-Las left a lasting impact on the music industry, influencing artists such as Blondie and Amy Winehouse.

Mark Ronson even credited “Leader of the Pack” as the inspiration for the beat in Winehouse’s “Rehab.” The specific cause of Mary Weiss’s death has not been disclosed, and it’s important to respect the privacy of her family during this difficult time.

Mary Weiss: A Journey Through Music and Life

Mary Weiss, born on December 28, 1948, grew up in Queens alongside her older sister Elizabeth (Betty) and older brother George. From an early age, she showcased her passion for music, participating in school plays and choirs. Inspired by her brother’s performances and her love for artists like Neil Sedaka and The Everly Brothers, Weiss embarked on her musical journey. Her exposure to the vibrant sounds of the 1960s would eventually lead her to a remarkable career in the world of pop music.

The Shangri-Las Beginnings

Forming a close friendship with twins Mary Ann and Margie Ganser during grammar school, the four talented individuals began singing at local dances. Noticed by producer Artie Ripp, they signed with Kama Sutra Productions and later Red Bird Records. The Shangri-Las quickly rose to fame with hits like “Remember (Walking in the Sand)” and “Leader of the Pack,” becoming a prominent girl group in the 1960s.

The Shangri-Las’ Journey and Breakup

Following years of success and numerous performances, The Shangri-Las disbanded in 1968. Mary Weiss ventured to San Francisco, seeking a different lifestyle. Her return to New York in the 1970s included occasional shows with The Shangri-Las, and in 1977, a comeback attempt with Sire Records. A final reunion occurred in 1989 at Cousin Brucie’s Palisades Park Reunion show.

Weiss transitioned to a different chapter of her life, working as a purchasing agent in Manhattan. Immersed in the architectural and commercial interiors field, she rose to the position of chief purchasing agent and later managed a furniture store, eventually becoming an interior designer. By 2001, Weiss served as a furniture consultant to New York businesses, showcasing her versatility beyond the music scene.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Honor

In 2019, The Shangri-Las’ iconic “Leader of the Pack,” featuring Weiss’s lead vocals, received recognition from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the Singles category.

In 2005, Weiss left her career in commercial interiors to reignite her passion for music. Collaborating with The Reigning Sound, she released the critically acclaimed solo album “Dangerous Game” in March 2007. Weiss’s return to the stage included performances across the United States, as well as in Spain and France, marking a triumphant comeback for this enduring figure in the world of music.


Mary Weiss: December 28, 1948 – January 19, 2024

Mary Weiss, the legendary lead singer of The Shangri-Las, passed away on Friday at the age of 75. Her distinctive voice and contributions to the 1960s music scene, marked by hits like “Leader of the Pack” and “Remember (Walking in the Sand),” etch her name in the annals of pop history. Weiss’s passing, confirmed by Miriam Linna of Norton Records, leaves behind a legacy that transcends generations, influencing artists and captivating the hearts of fans. As we mourn the loss of this iconic figure, we celebrate the indelible mark Mary Weiss left on the world of music. May she rest in peace.


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