Best known as the the lead singer of the popular 1960s singing group The Supremes, Diana Ross was born on March 26, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan, the second of six children born to Fred and Ernestine. She is of African American and Native American descent. After being raised in housing projects for most of the late 1940s and early 1950s, Diana started singing in the gospel choir of a Baptist church. With friends Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard and Barbara Martin, she formed a vocal group, The Primettes, at age 15. After Barbara had departed the group, the remaining three girls inked a deal with Motown Records and were renamed The Supremes. Ross wasn't picked to become the group's lead singer until Motown honcho Berry Gordy decided that the time was exactly right, and from then on he described the group as "Diana Ross and the Supremes." From 1965 to 1969 the group had a string of #1 records. In late 1969 Gordy announced that Ross would be leaving the group for a solo career. In the third week of 1970 she played her last concert with The Supremes and started working with the songwriting team of Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson. Ross' first two songs by the team reached #1 on both the pop and R&B charts, justifying her move. Prior to starting a family of her own, she won the title role in the Billie Holiday biopic Lady Sings the Blues (1972), which was extremely successful at the box office, and had the distinction of being nominated for an Academy Award for her first film. The movie's soundtrack reached #1 on the U.S. charts. Despite fame and fortune, her next two big films,Mahogany (1975) and The Wiz (1978), didn't meet with the same success. However, she had a #1 hit single with "Mahogany" to make up for it. In February 1976, just before another #1 hit with "Love Hangover," she was stunned when her singing partner and friend, Florence Ballard, died after complications from a combination of alcohol abuse and long-term depression, which led to cardiac arrest. Ballard was only 32 years old and Ross was devastated by the loss.
After recovering from Ballard's death, Ross went on to focus on her singing career and continued having more #1 songs, including "Upside Down". The following year she performed the theme song from Endless Love (1981), which was composed by Lionel Richie. That same year she left Motown Records and signed contracts with various record companies across the globe, and formed her own production company. The following year she released "Silk Electric," on which she sang "Muscles," a song written and produced by Michael Jackson.
After she sang a tribute song dedicated to the late Marvin Gaye, Ross scored another #1 song in 1986 in the UK with "Chain Reaction," which brought back her days as the member of The Supremes', and was written and produced by The Bee Gees. Unlike the song she sang when Florence died, this song was about how she became accustomed to Marvin over the years. After an eight-year absence, in 1989 she came back to Motown. Ross had gained more fame through concert appearances over the years, and in April 1993 she became a best-selling author with her first and only children's book, "When You Dream," which featured a CD with four songs that were dedicated to the book. That same year she was declared by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the most successful female singer of all times. Two years later she was honored with the Heritage Award for Lifetime Achievement on the Soul Train Awards. After receiving those honors, she came back to the studio in 1999 with "Every Day Is A New Day," and the song reached the UK Top 10. The following year, with Mary Wilson--the only other surviving original Supremes member--she planned to book a Supremes reunion tour, but this was eventually canceled.
She was arrested in 2002 in Tucson, Arizona, for driving under the influence and after pleading guilty was sentenced to two days in jail, 36 hours of counseling and one year probation. Today she is hard at work finishing her forthcoming book, "Upside Down: Wrong Turns, Right Turns and the Road Ahead."
|Arne Naess Jr.||(23 October 1985 - 12 February 2000) (divorced) 2 children|
|Robert Ellis Silberstein||(20 January 1971 - 9 March 1977) (divorced) 2 children|
Her high-pitched, reedy, and achingly vulnerable singing style
Mother of Rhonda Ross Kendrick ( with Berry Gordy but raised as Robert Silberstein's daughter because Diana married Robert in Jan 1971 before Rhonda's birth ),. From her marriage to Robert Ellis Silberstein, she has daughters Tracee Ellis Ross and Chudney Ross (b. 4 November 1975). With her second 16-year marriage to Norwegian shipping millionaire Arne Naess Jr, she has sons Ross Naess (b. 7 October 1987) and Evan Ross (b. 26 August 1988).
23 September 1999 - Arrested for grabbing an airport security guard's breast, whom she claimed touched her breast while she was being frisked after setting off an airport metal detector.
Entered Malibu, CA drug and alcohol rehab Promises center May 20, 2002 prior to start of global summer tour.
In 1983 introduced a line of pantyhose "Diana Ross Ultra Sheers"
Elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of The Supremes) in 1988.
Renewed vows with now-ex-husband Arne Naess Jr. on 1 February 1986 in Switzerland.
A member of The Supremes from 15 January 1961 - 14 January 1970.
The second of 6 children.
Graduated from Cass Technical High School in 1962
In January 1965 Music Business Magazine named The Supremes the #1 Female Soul Artist.
In January 1967 The Supremes was voted #1 by the readers of Playboy Magazine.
On November 8, 1969, she announced that she was leaving The Supremes in order to pursue a solo career, but the last Supremes concert with Ross was played on January 14, 1970, at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Was honoured by the Guinness Book of World Records in 1993 as the most successful female singer of all time.
Received the Lifetime Achievement Award from MIDEM in 1994
Performed the half-time show on Super Bowl in 1996
Received the BET (Black Entertainment Television) Walk of Fame Award on October 23, 1999
Received a 2000 Heroes Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). The award was the highest distinction bestowed by the New York Chapter.
10 days after the terrorist attack (9-11), she sang, "God Bless America", at Shea Stadium in New York City, New York. [21 September 2001]
Sang the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in 1982
Ross is the 2nd of six children born to Baptist family by Fred Ross Sr. and Ernestine Moten in Detroit, Michigan. She grew up in in Detroit's Brewster Housing Projects.
Intended to call her third daughter (born in 1975) "Chutney", yet misspelled the name as "Chudney" on the birth certificate.
Grew up in Detroit's Brewster Housing Projects.
When she was with The Supremes the group had 12 #1 songs and 18 top ten songs in the US.
Her ex-husband, Arne Naess Jr., died on 13th January, 2004 in a climbing accident in South Africa.
Ranked #38 on VH1's Greatest Women of Rock N Roll
Sister of Barbara Ross (doctor), Rita Ross (schoolteacher), Fred Ross, Jr., Arthur 'T-Boy' Ross (successful Motown songwriter), and Wilbert "Chico" Ross (a dancer on Ross' tours).
February 2004 - Sentenced to two days in jail, 36 hours of counseling, and one year probation after a no-contest plea for driving under the influence in Tucson, Arizona, in 2002.
Is the most successful female recording artist ever with 18 US #1 hits and 70 top 10 hits since 1964
Brother Arthur was murdered in Detroit in 1996.
Has been nominated for 12 Grammy awards, but never won.
In 1972 she and Cicely Tyson were both nominated for "Best Actress in a Leading Role" Oscars. This was only the second time in the history of the Academy Awards that African-American actresses were nominated in the "Best Actress" Oscar category. The first was Dorothy Dandridge's nomination for Carmen Jones (1954).
Billboard Magazine named her Female Entertainer of The Century.
Is on the board of A Better Chance, the only national program that recruits and places academically talented inner city children in the nation's best prepatatory schools.
Ranked #86 on VH1's 100 Sexiest Artists in 2002.
She has two stars on the Hollywood walk of fame, one for her work with The Supremes and one for her solo career.
Inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Foundation as a member of The Supremes on February 21, 2003.
Has won the Legendary Female award from the Capitol Gold Legends Award (2003).
Won a Special Tony Award in 1977.
Performed a memorable free concert through a terrible storm in New York City's Central Park in the summer of 1983. The storm caused much damage to the park, and she agreed to pony up the costs of repair a few years later.
The Supremes ranked #16 on VH1's Greatest Women in Rock N Roll.
Is one of 9 African-American actresses to be nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. The others in chronological order are: Dorothy Dandridge, Cicely Tyson, Diahann Carroll, Whoopi Goldberg, Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Gabourey Sidibe and Viola Davis.
Her father, Fred Ross, passed away November 20, 2007 at the age of 87.
She is of Native American ancestry specifically Cherokee.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
The Supremes were awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 7060 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
A reporter once asked me if I ever cried. I wonder if people think I'm just as hard as a rock and have no emotions at all.
People don't know about the human part of me that really cares about the world. For instance, I don't know what I feel about wearing my furs anymore. I worked so hard to have a fur coat and I don't want to wear it anymore because I'm so wrapped up in the animals. I have real deep thoughts about it because I care about the world and nature.
Instead of looking at the past, I put myself ahead twenty years and try to look at what I need to do now in order to get there then.
You can't just sit there and wait for people to give you that golden dream. You've got to get out there and make it happen for yourself.
In my life I want to keep moving forward, but sometimes reflection is a good thing.
My life has often been described as 'from rags to riches' but in fact, the Ross's were never raggedy.
I want an autobiography without revealing any personal information.
The first time I heard a Billie Holiday record, I thought, 'What's so great about Billie Holiday?'
(2007) Release of the book, "Diana Ross: An Unauthorized Biography" by Randy J. Taraborrelli.
(2002) Release of her book, "Diana Ross: Going Back".
(1981) Release of the book, "Diana Ross" by Geoff Brown.
(1975) Release of the book, "Diana Ross" by Patricia Mulrooney Eldred.
(2003) Release of her book, "Upside Down: Diana Ross - The Real Story".
(1993) Release of her book, "Secrets of a Sparrow: Memories".
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