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Diana Ross

Diana Ross

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Also Known As: Diane Ernestine Ross Died:
Born: March 26, 1944 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Detroit, Michigan, USA Profession: singer, actor, fashion designer, cafeteria bus girl

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A superstar for decades, Diana Ross was raised in Detroit. In high school she studied modeling and fashion design and at age 15 she joined the Primettes, the sister act of a male group called the Primes. The Primes evolved into the Temptations, and Berry Gordy signed both groups to his fledgling Motown label. The Temptations got successful relatively soon but the Primettes, now rechristened the Supremes, didn't do as well: They had seven consecutive flops before scoring a minor hit with "When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes," then flopped again with its followup. But Gordy was particularly invested in Ross's career, later becoming romantically interested in her as well. He made Ross the full-time lead singer, pushing the other two Supremes, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson, further into the background. The Supremes' ninth single, 1964's "Where Did Our Love Go" was the game-changer: It hit Number One and ushered in a remarkable string of classic singles over rest of the decade, including eleven further Number Ones.  As a black female group with a sophisticated image, they appealed to middle America and subtly advanced the cause of civil rights. The records were groundbreaking as well,...

A superstar for decades, Diana Ross was raised in Detroit. In high school she studied modeling and fashion design and at age 15 she joined the Primettes, the sister act of a male group called the Primes. The Primes evolved into the Temptations, and Berry Gordy signed both groups to his fledgling Motown label. The Temptations got successful relatively soon but the Primettes, now rechristened the Supremes, didn't do as well: They had seven consecutive flops before scoring a minor hit with "When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes," then flopped again with its followup. But Gordy was particularly invested in Ross's career, later becoming romantically interested in her as well. He made Ross the full-time lead singer, pushing the other two Supremes, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson, further into the background. The Supremes' ninth single, 1964's "Where Did Our Love Go" was the game-changer: It hit Number One and ushered in a remarkable string of classic singles over rest of the decade, including eleven further Number Ones.  As a black female group with a sophisticated image, they appealed to middle America and subtly advanced the cause of civil rights. The records were groundbreaking as well, absorbing psychedelia on 1967's "Reflections" and addressing controversial topics on 1968-69's "Love Child" and "I'm Living in Shame" (respectively about an illegitimate child and a teenage runaway). Tellingly the group's name was changed to "Diana Ross & the Supremes" in 1967 (at which time Ballard was replaced by Cindy Birdsong). However success continued until 1969 when they bowed out with another classic single, "Someday We'll Be Together"-which ironically featured session singers in place of the other two Supremes. Gordy's original plan was to groom Diana Ross and the remaining Supremes as separate star vehicles; in fact the Supremes started stronger out of the gate. "Up the Ladder to the Roof," their first with new singer Jean Terrell, charted higher than Ross's solo debut "Reach Out & Touch Somebody's Hand."  However her followup-a ballad rework of the Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell hit "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"-went Number One while the Supremes' hits trailed off. Ross was now developing her career as an all-around entertainer, making her movie debut in 1972's Billie Holiday biopic "Lady Sings the Blues" and playing another dramatic role in 1975's "Mahogany."  However, Motown then threw its movie resources into "The Wiz" (1978), a can't-miss project that did indeed miss, losing $10 million despite Ross and Michael Jackson in starring roles. Though she did more acting over the years, she concentrated largely on music from then on. Notable later singles included 1976's disco hit "Love Hangover," 1980's "I'm Coming Out" (which her gay fanbase took as an anthem), 1981's "Endless Love" with Lionel Richie,  and 1984's "Missing You," a memorial to Marvin Gaye. A 2000 Supremes reunion tour was less successful; due to behind-the-scenes squabbles she "reunited" only with two women who'd been Supremes after she'd left. She has toured successfully in the 2010's and began a Vegas residency in 2018.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Double Platinum (1999) Olivia King
3.
 Out of Darkness (1994) Paulie Cooper
4.
 The Wiz (1978) Dorothy
5.
 Mahogany (1975) Tracy Chambers--'Mahogany'
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

2002:
Checked into Promises, a rehab center in Malibu before embarking on a summer tour; three months later cancelled tour altogether
1964:
The Supremes made their first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on Christmas Eve
1987:
TV producing debut, the special "Diana Ross . . . Red Hot Rhythm and Blues"
1965:
First film appearance, with The Supremes singing two songs, including title song, in "Beach Ball"
1969:
Made final TV appearance with the Supremes on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on December 21
1994:
Received the French Commander of Arts and Letters medal; France's highest arts award
1960:
Two Primettes left group, and Ross continued singing with remaining two, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard
1992:
Was played by actress Holly Robinson on the TV miniseries, "The Jacksons: An American Dream"
1983:
Central Park charity concert outing scheduled for July rained out by major torrent while in performance
1976:
Death of Florence Ballard from a heart attack on February 21
1970:
First solo hit, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"
2000:
Headlined a concert tour with the Supremes; original group members Florence Birdsong and Mary Wilson did not participate; tour cancelled after performances in 12 cities
1994:
Made dramatic TV-movie debut, "Out of Darkness"; also executive produced
1971:
Performed in first hour-long TV special, "Diana", for NBC
1965:
The Supremes appeared at The Copacabana in July
1967:
"Love is Here and Now You're Gone", last single featuring Florence Ballard as group member, released in the spring
1981:
Left Motown and signed with RCA and EMI/Capitol
1970:
Made final public appearance with the Supremes at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas on January 14
1964:
Recorded Supremes smash, "Where Did  Our Love Go"
1982:
Reunited with The Supremes for NBC special honoring Motown's 25-year history
2006:
"Blue" a never issued album recorded in 1972, was released (June) after its discovery in the Motown vault
1961:
Trio is renamed The Supremes and signed by Motown's Berry Gordy Jr.
1968:
TV acting debut in guest appearance on "Tarzan"; Diana Ross and the Supremes portrayed nuns
1959:
Joined the Primettes, later the Supremes
1972:
Starred in "Lady Sings the Blues"
1999:
Co-starred with Brandy in the ABC TV-movie "Double Platinum"
1967:
Group renamed Diana Ross & the Supremes
1984:
Mary Wilson's autobiography, "Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme", published
:
Known for such albums as "One Woman"
:
Popular songs include "Upside Down" and "I'm Coming Out".
:
Left Supremes to go solo
:
Played free concert in Central Park
:
Played Super Bowl halftime show
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Education

Cass Technical High School: Detroit, Michigan -

Notes

Her website is locates at dianaross.com

Ross was given a citation from former Vice President Hubert Humphrey on behalf of former President Lyndon Johnson's Youth Opportunity Program

She received a citation from Mrs. Martin Luther King and Rev. Abernathy for her contribution to the SCLC cause.

Ross was named Female Entertainer of the Century, BILLBOARD magazine.

She was also named World's Outstanding Singer by CASHBOX and RECORD WORLD

Ross is president of Diana Ross Enterprises, Inc., with divisions including Anaid Film Productions, Inc.; Diana Ross Foundation; RTC Management Corporation; Chondee, Inc.; Rosstown, Inc. and Rossville, Inc.

Ross was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988

She has received a Golden Apple Award (1972)

On December 30, 2002, Ross was arrested for drunken driving in Tucson, Arizona; Convicted of a DUI January 09, 2004, sentenced to serve 48 hours in jail and to a year of unsupervised probation

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Berry Gordy Jr. Recording executive. Founder of Motown Records; father of Ross' daughter Rhonda.
husband:
Robert Ellis Silberstein. Rock promoter. Married in January 1971; divorced in 1976; father of Ross' daughters Tracee and Chudney.
husband:
Arne Naess. Shipping magnate. Married on October 23, 1985; remarried on February 1, 1986; separated; filed for divorce in April 1999; divorced in the Dominican Republic on February 11, 2000; father of Ross' sons Ross and Arne.
companion:
Michael Bloomberg. Businessman. Dated briefly.
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Family close complete family listing

father:
Fred Ross. Brass factory worker.
mother:
Ernestine Ross.
sister:
Rita Ross. Actor.
brother:
Fred Ross Jr.
brother:
Arthur Ross. Born c. 1949; murdered in June 1996.
brother:
Chico Ross.
daughter:
Rhonda Suzanne Silberstein. Singer, actor. Born in 1971; father Berry Gordy Jr; found out that Gordy was her father at age 13; cast on the NBC daytime drama "Another World".
daughter:
Tracee Joy Silberstein. Actor. Born in 1972.
daughter:
Chudney Lane Silberstein. Born in 1975.
son:
Ross Arne Naess. Born October 7, 1987.
son:
Evan Naess. Born c. 1988.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Supreme Lady"
"Call Her Miss Ross" Carol Publishing Group

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