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Diana Ross Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (3)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (126)  | Personal Quotes (8)  | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Detroit, Michigan, USA
Birth NameDiane Ernestine Earle Ross
Nickname Miss Ross
Height 5' 4½" (1.64 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Best known as the the lead singer of the popular 1960s singing group The Supremes, Diana Ernestine Earle Ross was born on March 26, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan, the second of six children of African-American parents Ernestine Lillian (Moten), a schoolteacher, and Fred Earl Ross, who served in the army. 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."

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Richard Collins II (hugsarealwaysinorder@yahoo.com)

Family (3)

Spouse Arne Rudolf Ludvig Raab (Arne Naess) (23 October 1985 - 12 February 2000)  (divorced)  (2 children)
Robert Ellis Silberstein (20 January 1971 - 9 March 1977)  (divorced)  (2 children)
Children Evan Ross
Rhonda Ross Kendrick
Ross Naess
Chudney Ross
Tracee Ellis Ross
Parents Ernestine Ross Jordan
Fred Earl Ross

Trade Mark (3)

Her high-pitched, reedy, and achingly vulnerable singing style
Flexi rod curls.
Her songs depicted upon relationships.

Trivia (126)

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 (b. October 29, 1972) 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).
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.
Graduated from Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan, in early 1962, just 2 months before her 18th Birthday.
In January 1965 Music Business Magazine named The Supremes the #1 Female Soul Artist.
The Supremes once co-hosted The Mike Douglas Show (1961).
In January 1967 The Supremes was voted #1 by the readers of Playboy Magazine.
Made her first solo TV appearance with Lucille Ball and Dinah Shore.
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. [8 November 1969].
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. [1994]
Performed the half-time show on Super Bowl. [1996]
Received the BET (Black Entertainment Television) Walk of Fame Award. [October 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. [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).
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 nominated for the same "Best Actress in a Leading Role" award category (for different roles, in different films), for the same performing, nomination, and award year for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences (AMPAS), more commonly known as the Oscars. This was only the second time in the history of the Academy Awards that African-American actresses had been nominated in the "Best Actress" Academy Award/Oscars category, although there had been several nominations in best supporting actress categories. The first, and only previous, female nominee in the best, or leading actress category, had been Dorothy Dandridge's nomination for Carmen Jones (1954). Coincidentally, the same two actresses, Ross and Tyson, were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom award in the same ceremony, from President Barack Obama, in his final "class," or group, on November 22, 2016.
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 and The Supremes had appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) (aka "The Ed Sullivan Show") 17 times from 1964-1969.
She has two stars on the Hollywood walk of fame, one for her work with The Supremes and one for her solo career.
Her 1981 song "I'm Coming Out" was used in The Princess Diaries (2001) trailer and in the Maid in Manhattan (2002) soundtrack, which was revived by Amerie.
Inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Foundation as a member of The Supremes. [February 2003]
Has won the Legendary Female award from the Capitol Gold Legends Award (2003).
Does not write songs of her own like Linda Ronstadt and Barbra Streisand.
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.
She and The Supremes had appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) (aka "The Ed Sullivan Show") 17 times from 1964-1969.
The Supremes ranked #16 on VH1's Greatest Women in Rock N Roll.
When interviewed on the TV show American Idol (2002), she explained that her hit song, "Missing You", was in memory of her good friend, Marvin Gaye.
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.
Recipient of the 2007 Kennedy Center Honors. Other recipients that year were Leon Fleisher, Steve Martin, Martin Scorsese, and Brian Wilson.
Daughter Tracee Ellis Ross had previously been best known to the public for her starring role as "Joan Clayton" on Girlfriends (2000), but as of 2014/2015/2016, Tracee Ellis Ross is best known to the public for her starting role as Rainbow "Bow" Johnson, on Black-ish (2014).
Classmate and former neighbors of Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson, who later joined Ross in The Supremes.
Her parents were both African-American.
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.
Lives in Manhattan's renowned Beresford apartment building, northwest corner of 81st St. and Central Park West, which is also the residence of Jerry Seinfeld, Glenn Close and other celebrities.
Won her first Grammy award in 2012.
In 2013, sold out the Hollywood Bowl with 20,000 seats.
Release of the book, "Diana Ross" by Patricia Mulrooney Eldred. [1975]
Release of her book, "Secrets of a Sparrow: Memories". [1993]
Release of her book, "Diana Ross: Going Back". [2002]
Release of her book, "Upside Down: Diana Ross - The Real Story". [2003]
Release of the book, "Diana Ross" by Geoff Brown. [1981]
Release of the book, "Diana Ross: An Unauthorized Biography" by Randy J. Taraborrelli. [2007]
As of Lena Horne's passing in 2010, Diana is the last surviving principal cast member of The Wiz (1978).
Had known and was close friends with Michael Jackson from when he was only 8 years old, through until his death, in 2009. Ross was a very important influence on him, throughout his career.
When she released her 1st solo album, in 1970, it sold over 500,000 copies.
By the time she was 14, Ross's parents had 6 children to support. Money became tighter for her family.
Attended the funeral of her former classmate and former co-Supreme member Florence Ballard, when she passed away in 1976.
Her decision in becoming a singer infuriated her father.
Shares the same birthday with Steven Tyler, who is 4 years Ross's junior. He approached her son, Evan Ross, who was also conversing with a few young friends when Evan's black SUV pulled up to the sidewalk and he rolled down his window to do a little catching up.
Appeared in Rod Stewart's video, "I've Got a Crush on You," which was a remake of the 1939 song, sung by Lee Wiley, but was written by Ira Gershwin.
In 1991, Ross became one of the few American artists to have headlined the annual Royal Variety Performance, when she performed a selection of her UK hits in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at the Victoria Palace Theatre, London.
After her contract from RCA expired, she returned to Motown in 1989.
In February 2012, Ross received her first ever Grammy Award, for Lifetime Achievement, and announced the nominees for the Album of the Year.
Ex-girlfriend of Gene Simmons.
Moved to Detroit's Brewster Projects on the exact day of her fourteenth Birthday, in 1958.
At a very young age, she really admired her Detroit projects neighbor, Smokey Robinson, but she wanted to compete with somebody older than herself, that person turned out to be her own father.
Mother-in-law of Ashlee Simpson.
She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, by President Barack Obama, in a live televised ceremony held in the East Room of the White House, on November 22, 2016, along with twenty other recipients, the the largest, and final Medal of Freedom ceremony of Obama's presidency. At this ceremony, the twenty-one recipients, in alphabetical order, included: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elouise Cobell (posthumous award given to her son), Ellen DeGeneres, Robert De Niro, Richard Garwin, Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, Frank Gehry, Margaret Hamilton (as Margaret H. Hamilton), Tom Hanks, Rear Admiral Grace Hopper (posthumous award given to her niece), Michael Jordan, Maya Lin, Lorne Michaels, Newton Minow, Eduardo Padron (as Eduardo Padrón), Robert Redford, Diana Ross, Vin Scully, Bruce Springsteen, and Cicely Tyson.
Alumna of Stella Adler Studio of Acting.
The Bee Gees-penned song "Islands in the Stream" (1983) was originally written for her but ended up being a number one hit for Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton instead.
After the death of Mary Wilson, on February 8, 2021, Ross is the only surviving original band member of The Supremes.
At 15, Ross joined the Primettes, a sister group of a male vocal group called the Primes, after being brought to the attention of music manager Milton Jenkins by Primes member Paul Williams.
She has 7 grandchildren: Raif-Henok (born in 2009 to her daughter Rhonda); Leif (born on June 5, 2016) and Idingo (born 2017), born to her son Ross Næss; Callaway Lane (born in 2012) and Everlee (born October 2019) born to Ross's daughter Chudney; granddaughter Jagger Snow (born in 2015), and grandson Ziggy (born in 2020) to her son Evan.
Despite having a strong connection with Cicely Tyson, and until Tyson's death on January 28, 2021, they never worked together on any projects, though many aspects of their life stories have been shared.
When Diana Ross was attended Cass Tech., she began taking classes including clothing design, millinery, pattern making, and tailoring, as she had aspired to become a fashion designer. She also took modeling and cosmetology classes at the school and participated in three or four other extracurricular activities while being there.
Before she was a successful singer, she worked as a secretary for Motown Records.
It was Berry Gordy's call for Ross to depart The Supremes by the end of that year, and Ross began recording her initial solo work that July. One of the first plans for Ross to establish her own solo career was to publicly introduce a new Motown recording act. [1969]
Diana Ross consolidated her status as a dance diva by ranking #3 in the Billboard Dance Club Songs Artists year-end chart. [December 2018]
Due to Berry Gordy's anxiety arising from Gordy's demands of her, Ross cared about each other, esp. when she began suffering from anorexia nervosa. According to her autobiography, 'Secrets of a Sparrow.' During a 1967 performance in Boston, Massachusetts, Ross collapsed onstage and had to be hospitalized for exhaustion.
She was the first African-American woman to co-host the Academy Awards. [1974]
At one point, Berry Gordy initially considered her leaving the Supremes for a solo career in 1966, but changed his mind because the group's success was still too significant for Ross to pursue solo obligations. Ross remained with the Supremes, until early 1970.
Had reconciled with Mary Wilson, before her bandmates's death.
Billboard magazine named her the 50th most successful dance club artist of all time. [December 2016]
In 2005, Ross was featured as an honored guest at Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball Weekend, a three-day celebration honoring 25 African-American women in art, entertainment and civil rights.
Ross received the American Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Award. [November 2017]
She and daughter Tracee Ellis Ross appeared on the cover of Essence Magazine, in celebration of its 50th anniversary. [May 2004]
She is most widely known to be a very private lady.
Ross was the featured performer for Stevie Wonder's Billboard Awards' Billboard Century Award tribute. [December 2004]
Ross was honored as Humanitarian of the Year by Nile Rodgers' We Are Family Foundation. [2003]
She performed at the opening of the US Open tennis tournament, as part of a tribute to Billie Jean King. [August 2008]
Mattel's historical First Black Barbie, released in 1980 as the first Black Doll to be called Barbie, was directly influenced by Diana Ross and her style. Ross would eventually get a Barbie doll made in her likeness in 2003, designed by Bob Mackie.
Though they were not best buddies, Cicely Tyson was said to be an avid fan of hers, by listening to Ross's independent records.
Former neighbor and lifelong friend of Smokey Robinson. They met in 1948, when Ross was only 4, and Robinson was only 8, when they were living a block away from each other.
She called Mary Wilson about a possible The Supremes reunion in 2000. Wilson had already refused to participate in the reunion with Ross. The reunion tour, at that time, was called the "Return To Love" tour, which featured Diana Ross along with Scherrie Payne and Lynda Laurence. Both Payne and Laurence were not The Original Supremes.
Entertainment ran in her family.
She is the only female artist ever to have number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 as a solo artist, as the other half of a duet, as a member of a trio, and as an ensemble member. She also ranks among the Top 5 artists on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart from 1955 to 2018 when combining her solo and Supremes' hits.
In the same situation as Paul McCartney was, The Guinness Book of World Records recognized Diana Ross's 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. [1993].
Had a longstanding feud with Patti LaBelle. This all began after singer Cindy Birdsong left Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles to join Ross and the Supremes in 1967. More controversy surfaced in 1985, when critics accused LaBelle of upstaging Ross during a performance at the Apollo Theater.
She sang with fellow Motown artist Lionel Richie twice: They both sang "Endless Together", where they both declared love for each other and the other was "Missing You," where, after the death of their friend Marvin Gaye, almost a year ago, where it was built during conversations about Gaye shared by Ross and Richie, who came up with a song shortly after the conversations. The most coincidental thing was that both of these songs were written and produced by Lionel Richie.
Was 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. [September 1999]
Before she was a successful singer and actress, she used to work for Hudson's Department Store, as the first African-American busser, who was also "allowed outside the kitchen", in 1960, at age 16.
Kaufman Astoria Studios held a dedication ceremony in Astoria, Queens to honor Diana Ross by naming Studio 4 at the studios after her. The Diana Ross Building served as an acknowledgement of her contribution in bringing the studio back to the forefront after being faced with possible demolition, through her involvement in The Wiz (1978). [24 January 1985].
She presented the Dick Clark Award for Excellence to Taylor Swift at the American Music Awards. [20 November 2014].
Was supposed to co-star in, The Bodyguard, playing the singer, with Steve McQueen, playing the title character. The project never came together with those two actors. Instead, it was made with Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, 16 years later. In real-life, one of Ross's bodyguards was former bouncer Lawrence Tureaud, better known as Mr. T.
Despite being friends for decades, she refused to attend the funeral of Michael Jackson's, when he passed away in 2009. For private reasons, she did not attend his funeral.
Billboard Ranked her the 30th Greatest Hot 100 Artist of All Time. [2021].
Her mentor is Berry Gordy. She even was her boyfriend, for a while, prior to marrying Robert Ellis Silberstein and even put her in a movie, a couple of years, after departing from The Supremes.
Almost shares the same birthday with Chaka Khan, post three days, but is nine years Khan's senior. Ross has known Khan, since the 1970s, after being a devoted fan. In fact, when Khan was growing up, she used to frequently listen to "The Supremes" (that featured Diana Ross herself) with her mother.
Ross received the World Music Awards' Lifelong Contribution to the Music Industry Award. [31 May 1996].
Her idol was Etta James. When she was just a little girl, she used to be sneaking out into her own adventure, into her own entertainment. Ross would also sang one of the Emma James's records.
When she left The Supremes, she also wanted to pursue a film career; which she did, until The Wiz (1978), which failed at the box office.
When she was only 7, her mother contracted tuberculosis, causing her to be seriously ill. Her mother sent Diana and her siblings to live with her grandparents.
Had sang all of her life.
Lifelong friend of Aretha Franklin, whom Ross met, when she was only 3. She attended her childhood friend's funeral, when the fellow singer passed away on August 31, 2018, along with fellow singer Chaka Khan and Cicely Tyson. Whilst Ross delivered the flowers to Franklin's family, another one of her surviving childhood friends Smokey Robinson, performed one of his own songs: "Really Gonna Miss You".

Personal Quotes (8)

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?'

Salary (1)

The Wiz (1978) $1,000,000

See also

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