Celebrating Diana Ross

Diana Ernestine Earle Ross (born March 26, 1944) is an American singer, actress, record producer and an occasional songwriter. Born and raised in Detroit, she rose to fame as a founding member and lead singer of the vocal group The Supremes, which, during the 1960s, became Motown’s most successful act and is to this day America’s most successful vocal group as well as one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time. As part of the Supremes, Ross most notably rivaled the career of The Beatles in worldwide popularity, and her success made it possible for future African American R&B and soul acts to find mainstream success. The group set a record scoring twelve number-one hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100 including the hits “Where Did Our Love Go”, “Baby Love”, “Come See About Me”, “Stop! In the Name of Love”, “You Can’t Hurry Love”, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”, “Love Child” and “Someday We’ll Be Together”.

Following her departure from the Supremes in 1970, Ross released her debut solo album, Diana Ross, which contained the hits “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” and the number-one hit “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. She released the album Touch Me in the Morning in 1973. Its title track reached #1 becoming her second solo hit. By 1975, the Mahogany soundtrack included her 3rd number-one hit “Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)”. Her 1976 album Diana Ross included her fourth number-one hit “Love Hangover”. In 1979, Ross released the album The Boss. Her 1980 album Diana which reached #2 on the Billboard albums chart and spawned the number-one hit “Upside Down” and the international hit “I’m Coming Out”. After leaving Motown, Ross achieved her sixth and final number-one hit with the duet “Endless Love”.

Ross also ventured into acting, with a Golden Globe Award and Academy Award nominated performance in Lady Sings the Blues (1972). She also starred in two other feature films, Mahogany (1975) and the The Wiz (1978); later acting included roles in the television films Out of Darkness (1994); which she was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award and Double Platinum (1999).

Beside ventures in Broadway, Ross was named the “Female Entertainer of the Century” by Billboard magazine. In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared Ross the most successful female music artist in history due to her success in the United States and United Kingdom for having more hits than any female artist in the charts with a career total of 70 hit singles with her work with the Supremes and as a solo artist. Ross has sold more than 140 million records worldwide when her releases with the Supremes and as a solo artist are tallied.

In 1988, Ross was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as member of the Supremes alongside Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson. She is the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2007. She is a twelve-time Grammy nominee later becoming the recipient of her only Grammy Award to date by being honored the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.