Diana Ross

Diana Ross

Highest Rated: 65% Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

Lowest Rated: 28% Mahogany (1975)

Birthday: Mar 26, 1944

Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, USA

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.

Highest rated movies

Photos

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet 83% Double Platinum Olivia King (Character),
Executive Producer
- 1999
No Score Yet No Score Yet Out of Darkness Paulie Cooper (Character) - 1994
42% 65% The Wiz Dorothy (Character) - 1978
28% 76% Mahogany Tracy (Character) - 1975
65% 86% Lady Sings the Blues Billie Holliday (Character),
Singer
- 1972

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet Access Hollywood Guest 2016
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Oprah Winfrey Show Music Performer 2011
No Score Yet No Score Yet Inside the Actors Studio Guest 2007
No Score Yet No Score Yet Johnny Carson Guest 1977
No Score Yet No Score Yet Tarzan Sister Therese (Guest Star) 1968

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