By Moira Cue
Diana Ross was born in Detroit, Michigan on March 26, 1944. Her early recording career began with in the 1960's with Barry Gordy's Motown Records and The Supremes, with whom, she achieved fourteen consecutive number one hit records, rivalling The Beatles as most successful recording artists of their generation.The Supremes number one hits include "Baby Love" and "Where Did Our Love Go" in 1964; "Come See About Me" in 1964 and 1965; "Stop! In The Name of Love," "Back In My Arms Again," and "I Hear A Symphony," in 1965; "You Can't Hurry Love" and "You Keep Me Hangin' On" in 1966; "Love is Here and Now You're Gone" and "The Happening" in 1967; "Love Child" in 1968; and "Someday We'll Be Together" in 1969 and 1970. "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," was her first solo single hit, also in 1970. In 1976, she reached number one again with "Theme from Mahogany" (Do You Know Where You're Going To) and "Love Hangover." In 1980, "Upside Down" made the top of the charts, and in 1981, the Diana Ross / Lionel Richie duet, "Endless Love," stayed at the top spot on the Hot 100 for nine consecutive weeks. "Endless Love" has been called "the greatest duet of all time" by Billboard.
In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared Ross the most successful female music artist in history for having more hits than any female artist in the charts with a career total of 70 hit singles (counting The Supremes and her solo work). Ross has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. She has covered the work of songwriters Sam Cooke, Jules Stein, and Rogers & Hart, among more. Her acting debut in 1972, in the role of the late Billie Holiday, won her an Academy Award nomination, for biopic "Lady Sings The Blues," where she also showcased her jazz chops. She later starred in feature films "Mahogany" and "The Wiz" and made-for-television films "Out of Darkness" and "Double Platinum."
Ms. Ross has won so many awards that her awards have their own Wikipedia page; a few highlights include a Tony award in 1977, her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1982, being inducted with The Supremes into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, a French Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters award in 1994, being named "Female Entertainer of the Century" by Billboard in 1996, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
In a world where celebrity is often fleeting, Ms. Ross has a staying power that defies the odds. In 2014, at the age of seventy, she continues to tour, much to the delight of her devoted fans! (Notably, she will play The Theater at Madison Square Garden on June 21.) Additionally, Ms. Ross has had two long-term marriages and five children, proving that motherhood and a family life is no impediment to success. Forbes reports her net worth at 200 million dollars. Truly, Diana Ross is one of THE TOP TEN DIVAS of ALL TIME.
This content is © 2014, The Hollywood Sentinel, all rights reserved. Sources Consulted: Forbes, Wikipedia, The Diana Ross International Fan Page, Digital Dream Door (lists of hit singles)