Diana Ross

Diana Ross on the cover of her collection Diana Ross: The Ultimate Collection

Diana Ernestine Ross (born March 26, 1944 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American soul, R&B and pop artist, and one of the most successful female artists of her era.

Music career

Diane Ross (although she originally went by "Diane," "Diana" is what is on her birth certificate), together with Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard and Betty McGlown formed The Primettes in 1959. After signing to Motown in 1961 and replacing McGlown with Barbara Martin, they changed the name of the group to The Supremes. Barbara Martin left the group shortly afterwards, and The Supremes carried on as a trio.

Although all the girls originally took turns singing lead, Motown chief Berry Gordy made Diane Ross the permanent lead singer starting in 1964, because he felt her soprano voice had the pop appeal The Supremes needed to cross over to white audiences. Diane also began using her given name of "Diana" at this time. Between the summer of 1964 and the summer of 1967, The Supremes released nine #1 hit singles and became the most successful black group of the decade.

In July 1967, Florence Ballard was fired from The Supremes and replaced with Cindy Birdsong. At this time, the group was also renamed "Diana Ross & The Supremes," officially recognizing Ross as the focal point of the group. During this period, the group had two more #1 hits as Motown began plans for a Diana Ross solo career, which was announced in November 1969.

In January 1970 Diana Ross officially departed from the Supremes and recorded her first solo album, the self-titled Diana Ross. She found chart success with a number of her early releases, most notably with the #1 single "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (1970). Ross also starred in a biopic of Billie Holliday, Lady Sings the Blues (1972), which earned her an Academy Award nomination and a #1 album soundtrack.

Ross released a duets album with Marvin Gaye in 1973, entitled Diana and Marvin, scoring several chart hits. In 1975 another return to acting, this time in the film Mahogany (1975) saw the theme song "The Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To?)" reach #1. Her second self titled album, Diana-Ross (1976), charted in the Top Ten, and featured the disco hit "Love Hangover".

1978 saw Ross starring in the film version of the successful Broadway play The Wiz, with Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, and Richard Pryor. Many eyebrows were raised at Ross, then age 34, playing Dorothy, who in all other versions of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was portrayed as a young girl. The Wiz, which cost $24 million to make, only brought in $13 million dollars during its original theatrical release.

A duet with Lionel Richie called "Endless Love" in 1981 proved to be the biggest record of her career and her last hit on the Motown label. She signed to RCA and had several successful releases, beginning with Why Do Fools Fall in Love, which featured a cover of the Frankie Lymon hit. After a downturn in record sales during the mid to late 80s she returned to the Motown fold with Workin' Overtime.

Personal

Diana Ross is the second of six children, three girls and three boys, from factory worker Fred Ross and teacher Ernestine Earle Ross. From 1971 to 1977, Diana Ross was married to music promoter Robert Ellis Silberstein, with whom she has two daughters (Tracee and Chudney). From 1985 to 2000, she was married to Norwegian businessman Arne Næss Jr., with whom she has two sons. (Næss died in a South African mountain accident in January 2004). She also has a daughter, Rhonda, with Motown founder Berry Gordy.

Her oldest daughter, Rhonda Ross Kendrick, is a songstress and actress. Her second daughter, Tracee Ellis Ross, is an actress who received claim to fame as one of the stars the sitcom "Girlfriends" (2003).

Discography

Albums

  • 1970: Diana Ross (reissued the same year as Ain't No Mountain High Enough)
  • 1970: Everything is Everything
  • 1971: Diana! (soundtrack from a 1971 television special)
  • 1971: Surrender
  • 1972: Lady Sings the Blues (soundtrack from the Billie Holliday bio-pic Ross starred in the same year)
  • 1973: Touch Me In The Morning
  • 1973: Diana & Marvin (duets album with Marvin Gaye)
  • 1973: Last Time I Saw Him
  • 1974: Live at Caesar's Palace
  • 1976: Diana Ross
  • 1977: An Evening with Diana Ross (live)
  • 1977: Baby, It's Me
  • 1978: Ross
  • 1979: The Boss
  • 1980: diana
  • 1981: Why Do Fools Fall In Love?
  • 1982: Silk Electric
  • 1983: Ross
  • 1984: Swept Away
  • 1985: Eaten Alive
  • 1987: Red Hot Rhythm & Blues
  • 1989: Workin' Overtime
  • 1989: The Greatest Hits Live
  • 1991: The Force Behind the Power
  • 1993: Christmas in Vienna (live, with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras)
  • 1993: Stolen Moments: The Lady Sings Jazz & Blues (live)
  • 1995: Take Me Higher
  • 1998: Very Special Season (Christmas album)
  • 1999: Every Day Is A New Day

Filmography

  • 1972: Lady Sings the Blues (Nominee for the Academy Award for Best Actress of 1972)
  • 1975: Mahogany
  • 1978: The Wiz
  • 1994: Out of Darkness (telefilm)
  • 1999: Double Platinum (telefilm)

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Her second daughter, Tracee Ellis Ross, is an actress who received claim to fame as one of the stars the sitcom "Girlfriends" (2003). Sylvia Sidney has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to Motion Pictures at 6245 Hollywood Boulevard. Her oldest daughter, Rhonda Ross Kendrick, is a songstress and actress. She died from throat cancer in New York. She also has a daughter, Rhonda, with Motown founder Berry Gordy. She was married three times, including a marriage to acting teacher Luther Adler from 1938 until 1947. (Næss died in a South African mountain accident in January 2004). She played the grandmother in the television production of An Early Frost for which she won a Golden Globe Award, as well as roles in Beetlejuice (1988) and Used People.

From 1985 to 2000, she was married to Norwegian businessman Arne Næss Jr., with whom she has two sons. As an elderly woman she continued to play supporting roles, and was identifiable by her husky voice, the result of a lifetime cigarette smoking habit. From 1971 to 1977, Diana Ross was married to music promoter Robert Ellis Silberstein, with whom she has two daughters (Tracee and Chudney). She received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973). Diana Ross is the second of six children, three girls and three boys, from factory worker Fred Ross and teacher Ernestine Earle Ross. In 1952 she played the role of Fantine in Les Misérables, and her performance was widely praised and allowed her opportunities to develop as a character actress. After a downturn in record sales during the mid to late 80s she returned to the Motown fold with Workin' Overtime. Her career diminished somewhat during the early 1940s and a comeback later in the decade failed to renew her popularity.

She signed to RCA and had several successful releases, beginning with Why Do Fools Fall in Love, which featured a cover of the Frankie Lymon hit. Among her films of this period were An American Tragedy and Street Scene (both 1931), Sabotage (1936) and Dead End (1937). A duet with Lionel Richie called "Endless Love" in 1981 proved to be the biggest record of her career and her last hit on the Motown label. During the Great Depression Sidney appeared in a string of films, playing either the girlfriend or the sister of a gangster. The Wiz, which cost $24 million to make, only brought in $13 million dollars during its original theatrical release. In 1927 she was seen by a Hollywood talent scout and made her first film appearance later that year. Many eyebrows were raised at Ross, then age 34, playing Dorothy, who in all other versions of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was portrayed as a young girl. A student of the Theater Guild's School for Acting, Sidney appeared in several of their productions during the 1920s and earned praise from theater critics.

1978 saw Ross starring in the film version of the successful Broadway play The Wiz, with Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, and Richard Pryor. Born Sophia Kosow in The Bronx, New York, New York, Sidney became an actress at the age of 15 as a way of overcoming shyness. Her second self titled album, Diana-Ross (1976), charted in the Top Ten, and featured the disco hit "Love Hangover". Sylvia Sidney (August 8, 1910 - July 1, 1999) was an American actress. In 1975 another return to acting, this time in the film Mahogany (1975) saw the theme song "The Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To?)" reach #1. Ross released a duets album with Marvin Gaye in 1973, entitled Diana and Marvin, scoring several chart hits.

Ross also starred in a biopic of Billie Holliday, Lady Sings the Blues (1972), which earned her an Academy Award nomination and a #1 album soundtrack. She found chart success with a number of her early releases, most notably with the #1 single "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (1970). In January 1970 Diana Ross officially departed from the Supremes and recorded her first solo album, the self-titled Diana Ross. During this period, the group had two more #1 hits as Motown began plans for a Diana Ross solo career, which was announced in November 1969.

At this time, the group was also renamed "Diana Ross & The Supremes," officially recognizing Ross as the focal point of the group. In July 1967, Florence Ballard was fired from The Supremes and replaced with Cindy Birdsong. Between the summer of 1964 and the summer of 1967, The Supremes released nine #1 hit singles and became the most successful black group of the decade. Diane also began using her given name of "Diana" at this time.

Although all the girls originally took turns singing lead, Motown chief Berry Gordy made Diane Ross the permanent lead singer starting in 1964, because he felt her soprano voice had the pop appeal The Supremes needed to cross over to white audiences. Barbara Martin left the group shortly afterwards, and The Supremes carried on as a trio. After signing to Motown in 1961 and replacing McGlown with Barbara Martin, they changed the name of the group to The Supremes. Diane Ross (although she originally went by "Diane," "Diana" is what is on her birth certificate), together with Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard and Betty McGlown formed The Primettes in 1959.

Diana Ernestine Ross (born March 26, 1944 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American soul, R&B and pop artist, and one of the most successful female artists of her era. 1999: Double Platinum (telefilm). 1994: Out of Darkness (telefilm). 1978: The Wiz.

1975: Mahogany. 1972: Lady Sings the Blues (Nominee for the Academy Award for Best Actress of 1972). 1999: Every Day Is A New Day. 1998: Very Special Season (Christmas album).

1995: Take Me Higher. 1993: Stolen Moments: The Lady Sings Jazz & Blues (live). 1993: Christmas in Vienna (live, with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras). 1991: The Force Behind the Power.

1989: The Greatest Hits Live. 1989: Workin' Overtime. 1987: Red Hot Rhythm & Blues. 1985: Eaten Alive.

1984: Swept Away. 1983: Ross. 1982: Silk Electric. 1981: Why Do Fools Fall In Love?.

1980: diana. 1979: The Boss. 1978: Ross. 1977: Baby, It's Me.

1977: An Evening with Diana Ross (live). 1976: Diana Ross. 1974: Live at Caesar's Palace. 1973: Last Time I Saw Him.

1973: Diana & Marvin (duets album with Marvin Gaye). 1973: Touch Me In The Morning. 1972: Lady Sings the Blues (soundtrack from the Billie Holliday bio-pic Ross starred in the same year). 1971: Surrender.

1971: Diana! (soundtrack from a 1971 television special). 1970: Everything is Everything. 1970: Diana Ross (reissued the same year as Ain't No Mountain High Enough).

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