Diana Ross, Diana Ross Biography, Diana Ross Biography and Profile, African-American Singer, African-American Actress, African-American Record Producer

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Diana Ross Early Life

Diana Ross was born March 26, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan. Diana began singing with friends as a teenager, and eventually formed the groundbreaking 1960s trio the Supremes, going on to have hits like “Come See About Me” and “You Can’t Hurry Love.” Ross left for a solo career in 1969, later reaching No. 1 with hits like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Love Hangover.” She starred in the films Mahogany and Lady Sings the Blues as well, earning an Oscar nomination for the latter. Despite personal and professional ups and downs, Ross has withstood the test of time as a performer with a career that spans more than four decades. She starred in the films Mahogany and Lady Sings the Blues as well, earning an Oscar nomination for the latter. Despite personal and professional ups and downs, Ross has withstood the test of time as a performer with a career that spans more than four decades.

Ross has been married twice: In 1971 she wed music business manager Robert Ellis Silberstein. After their divorce, she was married to Norwegian tycoon Arne Næss Jr. from 1986 to 1999. The legendary singer is the mother of five children: Rhonda (whom Ross had with Gordy Jr.), Tracee (of Girlfriends and Black-ish fame), Chudney, Ross and Evan.

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Diana Ross Biography and Profile

Diana Ross (Diana Ernestine Earle Ross) was born on March 26, 1944. Diana Ross is a musical legend. She has won numerous American Music Awards, several “Lifetime Achievement” awards, and in 2016, President Barack Obama awarded Ross with the Presidential Medal of Freedom—and for good reason. Miss Ross was one of the most successful female singers of the rock and roll era and the lead singer of the Supremes, one of the best charting girl groups in U.S. history. But she is also a proud parent: Ross has five super successful children.

As a solo artist, Diana Ross is one of the most successful female singers of the rock era. If you factor in her work as the lead singer of the Supremes in the 1960s, she may be the most successful. With her friends Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, and Barbara Martin, Ross formed the Primettes vocal quartet in 1959. In 1960, they were signed to local Motown Records, changing their name to the Supremes in 1961. Martin then left, and the group continued as a trio. Over the next eight years, the Supremes(renamed “Diana Ross and the Supremes” in 1967, when Cindy Birdsong replaced Ballard) scored 12 number one pop hits. After the last one, “Someday We’ll Be Together” (October 1969), Rosslaunched a solo career.

Diana Ross & the Supremes

Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson, known as The Supremes. Ross began singing in the group the Primettes with friends Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard and Barbara Martin as a teenager. Martin eventually dropped out, but the remaining members of the group went on to become the internationally successful 1960s R&B and pop trio the Supremes (later named Diana Ross and the Supremes).

Diana Ross & the Supremes, Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson
Diana Ross & the Supremes

They were the most successful American pop group of the 1960s—a group whose 12 #1 hits in the first full decade of the rock and roll era places them behind only Elvis and the Beatles in terms of chart dominance. They helped define the very sound of the 60s, but like fellow icons the Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel, they came apart in the first year of the 70s. The curtain closed for good on Diana Ross and the Supremes on January 14, 1970, at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The farewell concert in Vegas was the final act in a drawn-out breakup that didn’t become official until November 1969, but probably became inevitable in July 1967, when Motown Records chief Berry Gordy gave Diana Ross top billing over the Supremes. That move clearly signaled Gordy’s intention to launch Diana on a solo career—something he may have had in mind from the moment he upgraded her first name from “Diane” and upstaged her fellow Supremes by making Diana the group’s official lead singer.

Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard and Diane Ross grew up together in Detroit’s Brewster housing project and started out as co-equals in a singing group they called “the Primettes.” It took them several years of toiling within the hit factory Berry Gordy was assembling before the girls made their breakthrough in 1964. Those years included a Gordy-inspired name change for the group; a Gordy-mandated buffing and polishing in Motown’s in-house finishing school; and, eventually, a Gordy-dictated elevation of Diana over her childhood friends, Flo and Mary.

Yet even into early 1964, the group that would become Motown’s greatest commercial success was known as the “No-Hit Supremes” around Hitsville, U.S.A., the company’s Detroit headquarters. It was “Where Did Our Love Go”—a song written by the soon-to-be-legendary team of Holland-Dozier-Holland and rejected by the soon-to-be-eclipsed Marvelettes—that kicked off a run of success that saw the Supremes score an incredible five straight #1 singles in a 10-month span from July 1964 to May 1965. Five more #1s would come before Motown forced Flo Ballard out of the group she created, and two more would come with Cindy Birdsong as Ballard’s replacement before Diana Ross left the Supremes behind.


Motown initially paired her with writer/producers Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson, who gave her four Top 40 pop hits, including the number one “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (July 1970). Ross branched out into acting, starring in a film biography of Billie Holiday, Lady Sings the Blues(November 1972). The soundtrack went to number one, and Ross was nominated for an Academy Award.

Touch Me in the Morning (June 1973)

She returned to record-making with the Top Ten album Touch Me in the Morning (June 1973) and its chart-topping title song. This was followed by a duet album with Marvin Gaye, Diana & Marvin(October 1973), that produced three chart hits. Ross acted in her second movie, Mahogany (October 1975), and it brought her another chart-topping single in the theme song, “Do You Know Where You’re Going To.” That and her next number one, the disco-oriented “Love Hangover” (March 1976), were featured on her second album to be titled simply Diana Ross (February 1976), which Ross into the Top Ten.

The Wiz (October 1978)

Ross’ third film role came in The Wiz (October 1978). The Boss (May 1979) was a gold-selling album, followed by the platinum-selling Diana (May 1980) (the second of her solo albums with that name, though the other, a 1971 TV soundtrack, had an exclamation mark). It featured the number one single “Upside Down” and the Top Ten hit “I’m Coming Out.”

Diana Ross Top Ten hit in 1980

Ross scored a third Top Ten hit in 1980 singing the title theme from the movie It’s My Turn. She then scored the biggest hit of her career with another movie theme, duetting with Lionel Richieon “Endless Love” (June 1981). It was her last big hit on Motown; after more than 20 years, she decamped for RCA. She was rewarded immediately with a million-selling album, titled after her remake of the old Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers hit, “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” which became her next Top Ten hit. The album also included the Top Ten hit “Mirror, Mirror.”

Silk Electric (October 1982) was a gold-seller, featuring the Top Ten hit “Muscles,” written and produced by Michael Jackson, and Swept Away (September 1984) was another successful album, containing the hit “Missing You,” but Rosshad trouble selling records in the second half of the 1980s. By 1989, she had returned to Motown, and by 1993 was turning more to pop standards, notably on the concert album Diana Ross Live: The Lady Sings…Jazz & Blues, Stolen Moments (April 1993).

Megan Thee Stallion Biography

Motown released a four-CD/cassette box set retrospective, Forever Diana, in October 1993, and the singer published her autobiography in 1994. Take Me Higher followed a year later, and in 1999 she returned with Every Day Is a New Day. Arriving in 2000, Gift of Love was promoted by a concert tour featuring the Supremes, although neither Mary Wilson nor Cindy Birdsong appeared — their roles were instead assumed by singers Lynda Laurence and Scherrie Payne, neither of whom had ever performed with Ross during the group’s glory days.

2006 Motown released Ross’ lost album Blue

In 2006 Motown finally released Ross’ lost album Blue, a collection of standards originally intended as the follow-up to Lady Sings the Blues. The album I Love You from 2007 featured new interpretations of familiar love songs. That year, her contributions to the performing arts were acknowledged at the annual Kennedy Center Honors, and BET honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Over the course of the following decade, she toured regularly and held a residency at The Venetian in Las Vegas. President Obama awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016. All the while, Motown issued a handful of Ross anthologies, most notably Diamond Diana: The Legacy Collection.

Diana Ross & the Supremes Top 10 Best Songs

  • Buttered Popcorn
  • Baby Love
  • Stop! In the Name of Love
  • You Keep Me Hanging On
  • Reflections
  • Someday We’ll Be Together
  • Bill, When Are You Coming Back?
  • Stoned Love
  • Nathan Jones
  • Bad Weather

Diana Ross Awards

Diana Ross won several major awards, including a Golden Globe, a Tony and several American Music Awards. Ross was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 as part of the Supremes. Ross was awarded for her hard work again in 2007 when she was presented with Black Entertainment Television’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Also that year, a few weeks after her father’s death, Ross was honored by the Kennedy Center for her contributions to the arts. Vocalist Smokey Robinson and actor Terrence Howard were on hand to provide tributes to the superstar, and Ciara, Vanessa Williams and Jordin Sparks paid homage to Ross in song. In 2009, Ross jumped back into the limelight when it was revealed that pop icon Michael Jackson had requested the diva as an alternate guardian for his children.

In 2012 Ross received a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement; it would become her first Grammy ever, despite having been nominated twelve times. Four years later, Ross received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama, the nation’s highest civilian honor. In 2017, she added to her collection with Lifetime Achievement honors at the American Music Awards.

Diana Ross Family

Ross has been married twice: In 1971 she wed music business manager Robert Ellis Silberstein. After their divorce, she was married to Norwegian tycoon Arne Næss Jr. from 1986 to 1999. The legendary singer is the mother of five children: Rhonda (whom Ross had with Gordy Jr.), Tracee (of Girlfriends and Black-ish fame), Chudney, Ross and Evan.

Diana Ross Five Children, Tracee Ellis Ross, Evan Ross, Rhonda Ross Kendrick, Chudney Ross, Ross Naess
Diana Ross and Her Five Children

Diana Ross Children

Tracee Ellis Ross, Evan Ross, Rhonda Ross Kendrick, Chudney Ross, Ross Naess

Rhonda Ross Kendrick

Rhonda Ross Kendrick born 14 August 1971. Rhonda Ross is an American singer-songwriter, actress, and public speaker. She is the daughter of singer/actress Diana Ross. She was born in Los Angeles and raised by Ross and her first husband, Robert Ellis Silberstein. Her biological father is Motown Records founder Berry Gordy. Rhonda also has a child, Raif-Henok Emmanuel Kendrick.

Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross born 29 October 1972. Tracee Ellis Ross is an American actress and television host. She is known for her lead roles in the comedy television series Girlfriends and Black-ish. Ross is the daughter of actress and Motown recording artist Diana Ross and her ex-husband Robert Ellis Silberstein. When asked what it was like to be the child of a pop culture icon, Tracee told Elle Canada, “I felt like I grew up in her [Diana Ross’] embrace, not her shadow. And that is a testament to her. [Her children] were always more important than fame.”

Chudney Ross

Chudney Ross was born 4 November 1975. While Tracee, Rhonda, and mama Ross made names for themselves on stage or in front of the camera, Chudney Ross Silberstein opted to stay behind it. After graduating from Georgetown University, Chudney became a producer and production manager, working on films like Mesmerized and Fame. She also penned a children’s book, Lone Bean; is the founder and owner of her own store, bakery, and enrichment center, called Books and Cookies; and Chudney has two children, Callaway and Everlee. As for what it’s like to be Chudney’s mother and Callaway and Everlee’s grandmother, the “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” singer admitted her kids are her light and life. “I have so much to be proud of,” Diana wrote on Instagram, “[and] my best examples are my children.” And that sense of pride is reciprocal. Chudney shared the same post, doting on her mother’s heart, strength, grace, and humility.

Ross Naess

Ross Naess was born 7 October 1987. Ross Arne Naess has also worked in Hollywood as an actor and producer. Ross is a dedicated husband and father. He married his longtime girlfriend, Kimberly Ryan, in 2017, and Diana officiated—and sang at—the ceremony, which Ross described as perfect. “A perfect moment during a perfect weekend with my mom, my pregnant bride, and my first born son,” she wrote. The couple have two children, Leif and Indigo. “[The most memorable moment, aside from Jagger’s birth] was our parents coming in before it was time to come,” Ross said “I was like, ‘What are y’all doing… we were going to do it just us, but then we saw both our parents behind the curtain watching…. nurses can’t stop my mom! Like, Diana Ross just walks in.”

Evan Ross

Evan Ross born 26 August 1988. Evan Olav Næss, known professionally as Evan Ross, is an American actor and musician. Evan Ross may be the youngest member of the Ross clan—he is just 31 years old—but he has been in the “family business” for half his life. Ross made his acting debut in the 2006 film ATL, and since that time, he has worked on several features, including The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 & 2.

As for family, Ross is married to singer Ashlee Simpson. (Yes, Diana performed at their wedding too). The two have a daughter together, Jagger. Ross is also stepfather to Simpson’s son, Bronx, and when Simpson gave birth to Jagger, mama D was in the room. The pair jokingly told People no one can hold Diana back, not even in labor and delivery.

Diana Ross Biography and Profile

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