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That group evolved into the Royals (who later became R&B group, the Midnighters, though Wilson was not part of the group when it changed its name and signed with King Records).

Wilson signed on with manager Al Green (not to be confused with R&B singer Al Green, nor Albert "Al" Green of the now defunct National Records).

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On the Billboard Hot 100, Wilson scored 14 top 20 pop hits, six of which reached the top 10.

Jackie Wilson was one of the most important and influential musical artists of his generation.

Green, who also managed La Vern Baker, Little Willie John, Johnnie Ray and Della Reese, owned two music publishing companies, Pearl Music and Merrimac Music, and Detroit's Flame Show Bar, where Wilson met Baker.

After Wilson recorded his first version of "Danny Boy" and a few other tracks on Dizzy Gillespie's record label Dee Gee Records under the name Sonny Wilson (his nickname), Wilson eventually was hired by Billy Ward in 1953 to join a group Ward formed in 1950 called the Dominoes, after Wilson's successful audition to replace the immensely popular Clyde Mc Phatter, who left the Dominoes and formed the Drifters.

Billy Ward felt a stage name would fit the Dominoes' image, hence Jackie Wilson.