Young, 78, died Dec. 15 of complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, her daughter Meta Ventress told The New York Times Saturday.
Young replaced another singer in the Michigan group when Motown head Berry Gordy signed the band in 1961. A month later, The Marvelettes’ “Please Mr. Postman” became the first song on the young label to reach the top of the charts.
The group followed the hit with popular songs like “My Baby Must Be A Magician” and “Don’t Mess With Bill,” which both featured Young providing lead vocals.
The frequent collaborator of Smokey Robinson is survived by three children; seven grandchildren; a great-grandson; four sisters and four brothers.