Happy 76th birthday to Miss Diana Ross!
There are stars and there are STARS.
Diana Ross has been one of the biggest for more than 50 years and is still going strong. When I last saw her in concert at Hollywood Bowl in 2013, it was as if time had stood still. She looked amazing, the voice was in fine form and she had a capacity crowd wrapped around her finger. Look forward to seeing her again soon!
Her decade as lead singer of The Supremes secured her place in music history with 12 number one singles including Where Did Out Love Go, Stop! In the Name of Love, The Happening, Come See About Me, Back in My Arms Again, You Can’t Hurry Love, I Hear a Symphony, Baby Love, Love Child, and Someday We’ll Be Together.
In 1970, Diana left the Supremes to go out on her own and scored another stunning series of number one hits including Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Touch Me in the Morning, Do You Know Where You’re Going To, Love Hangover, Upside Down, and Endless Love. Then there was the wonderful anthem adopted by so many gays: I’m Coming Out, the dance faves The Boss, Chain Reaction, Mirror, Mirror, I Will Survive and the beautiful ballads Missing You, Reach Out and Touch and It’s My Turn.
I’ve also seen the legend in concert in 1989 (Workin’ Overtime tour), 1991 (Force Behind the Power tour), 1995 (Take Me Higher tour) and in 2008 at Hollywood Bowl and have just about every solo CD including Diana’s most recent: I Love You, her biggest seller in many years. She has only released three CDs in the past 20 years as her once-famous ambition seems to have leveled off.
She’s also an Oscar nominated actress (Lady Sings the Blues) whose last full-on dramatic role was in the 1993 movie-for-television Out of Darkness. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for what was, I think, the best acting performance of her career second only to Lady Sings the Blues. She also starred in Mahogany and The Wiz but her most recent film, Double Platinum, was two decades ago!
The drop-off in professional output could be because she has had other interests like her five amazing kids and a growing brood of grandkids. Some of her kids followed her into showbiz including Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross, actor and singer Evan Ross, and jazz singer Rhonda Ross.
It’s probably easier to pick and choose when you’ve accomplished just about all there is. In 2007, Miss Ross was among the recipients of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors award, the highest tribute any artist can get from this country. In 2012 she received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, in 2016 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, and ink 2018 was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the American Music Awards.
So on her 76th birthday, here is Miss Ross singing some of her many hits through the years.
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