Mary Weiss, lead singer of '60s girl group the Shangri-Las, dies at 75

The Shangri-Las were known for a series of hits including "Leader of the Pack" and "Remember (Walking in the Sand)."
Singer Mary Weiss
Posted at 9:46 AM, Jan 22, 2024

Mary Weiss, the lead singer of 1960s girl group the Shangri-Las, has died at 75.

News of her passing was first confirmed to Rolling Stone by Miriam Linna of Norton Records, the label that released Weiss' only solo album, "Dangerous Game," in 2007. 

"Mary was an icon, a hero, a heroine, to both young men and women of my generation and of all generations," Linna told Rolling Stone

The singer died Friday in Palm Springs, California, but no cause of death was given.

The Shangri-Las were known for a series of hits like "Leader of the Pack" and "Remember (Walking in the Sand)," which was later covered by Aerosmith and others.

The pop group was formed in the Queens borough of New York City and comprised two pairs of sisters, Mary and her sister Elizabeth "Betty" Weiss, and twin sisters Marguerite "Marge" Ganser and Mary Ann Ganser.

The group, popular for drama-filled songs about teen dreams and heartbreak, was named after a restaurant in Queens, according to The Associated Press.

While the group went separate ways in 1968, they were still considered a pioneering all-female group. For decades Weiss did not return to singing until her solo album came out 40 years later.

"Initially I didn't know how I'd feel about recording again," Weiss had told Rolling Stone in 2007. "But when I walked back into the studio, I felt like I was home."