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 Nęss Jr., with whom she has two sons. (Nęss 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). Having no living relatives, she left her US$1,000,000 estate to fund the Irene Ryan Foundation, which donates scholarships to young theater arts students involved with the Kennedy Center's American College Theater Festival. Her oldest daughter, Rhonda Ross Kendrick, is a songstress and actress. Pallbearers at her funeral include Hillbillies co-stars Buddy Ebsen and Max Baer, Jr., along with Hillbillies creator Paul Henning. She also has a daughter, Rhonda, with Motown founder Berry Gordy. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance. (Nęss died in a South African mountain accident in January 2004). Her final acting role was also her first Broadway role, as "Berthe" in the popular musical Pippin, which included the show-stopping solo "No Time At All".

From 1985 to 2000, she was married to Norwegian businessman Arne Nęss Jr., with whom she has two sons. After the series' run, she made two Love, American Style appearances, the second one first aired post-humously. From 1971 to 1977, Diana Ross was married to music promoter Robert Ellis Silberstein, with whom she has two daughters (Tracee and Chudney). Ed, and appeared on the TV game show Password. Diana Ross is the second of six children, three girls and three boys, from factory worker Fred Ross and teacher Ernestine Earle Ross. In 1965 she played Granny in an episode of Mr. After a downturn in record sales during the mid to late 80s she returned to the Motown fold with Workin' Overtime. The Beverly Hillbillies debut in 1962 brought many new fans, as the show jumped to #1 in the US in 3 weeks, a feat (as of 2004) not since matched.

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. Knox. 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. It was also during this period that she married (1946), and divorced (1961), her second husband, Harold E. The Wiz, which cost $24 million to make, only brought in $13 million dollars during its original theatrical release. In the following 17 years she had various roles in 25 movies, including Bonzo Goes to College and Rockabilly Baby, which also featured Les Brown and His Band of Renown. 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. Also in 1944, Tim and Irene were paired again, along with Dona Drake and Robert Lowery in another musical comedy, Hot Rhythm.

1978 saw Ross starring in the film version of the successful Broadway play The Wiz, with Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, and Richard Pryor. Tim, Irene, and Corio teamed up again, along with Charles Butterworth, in the Arthur Dreifuss film The Sultan's Daughter in 1944. Her second self titled album, Diana-Ross (1976), charted in the Top Ten, and featured the disco hit "Love Hangover". Her first starring big-screen role was with her Tim and Ann Corio, in Sarong Girl later in 1943. 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. She later performed on NBC Radio's "The Bob Hope Show", from 1948 to 1950. Ross released a duets album with Marvin Gaye in 1973, entitled Diana and Marvin, scoring several chart hits. Around this time she toured with Bob Hope's renowned USO tours.

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. In 1943's Ann Miller musical Reveille with Beverly she had another small part, notable only in that it was her first time working with her ex-husband Tim since their 1942 divorce. She found chart success with a number of her early releases, most notably with the #1 single "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (1970). Her first feature-length movie appearance was a bit part in the 1941 romantic comedy Unfinished Business, which starred Irene Dunne, Robert Montgomery, and Preston Foster. In January 1970 Diana Ross officially departed from the Supremes and recorded her first solo album, the self-titled Diana Ross. In the mid-1930s they made several short films based on the vaudeville shows. 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. Her career in vaudeville began by touring in an act called "Tim & Irene", with her first husband, Tim Ryan, who was also a prolific actor in multiple media.

At this time, the group was also renamed "Diana Ross & The Supremes," officially recognizing Ross as the focal point of the group. She is interred at the Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery in Santa Monica, California. In July 1967, Florence Ballard was fired from The Supremes and replaced with Cindy Birdsong. Shortly before she had suffered a stroke on-stage during a performance of the musical Pippin. 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. Ryan was born October 17, 1902 in El Paso, Texas, USA, and died April 26, 1973 in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 70, due to a brain tumor. Diane also began using her given name of "Diana" at this time. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Series (Lead)" in 1963 and 1964.

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. Today she is most widely known for her portrayal of "Granny" on the long running TV series The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-1971). Barbara Martin left the group shortly afterwards, and The Supremes carried on as a trio. Irene Ryan (née Noblette) was one of the few entertainers who found success in vaudeville, radio, film, and Broadway. 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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