Артисты: Diana Ross

diana_ross1.jpgBorn and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Ross' family moved to the Brewster-Douglass housing projects when Ross was fourteen. Later the same year, Ross began her music career with Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard and Betty McGlown as the doo-wop quartet the Primettes, a sister group to The Primes. After signing to Motown Records in 1961 and replacing McGlown with Barbara Martin, they changed the name of the group to The Supremes. Barbara Martin left the group shortly afterwards, and The Supremes carried on as a trio. Ross sang lead on all of the group's early singles, save for 1961's "Buttered Popcorn", led by Ballard. These singles were not successes, and Ross worked for a time as Motown CEO Berry Gordy, Jr.'s secretary for additional income. Feeling that Ross' soprano voice would allow the Supremes to crossover to mainstream audiences, Gordy made her the "official" lead singer of the group in late 1963. The same year, the Supremes had their first hit, the Holland-Dozier-Holland composition "When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes." More H-D-H written and produced pop hits soon followed, with an unprecedented ten Supremes singles, among them "Where Did Our Love Go", "Stop! In the Name of Love", and "You Keep Me Hangin' On", becoming number one Billboard Hot 100 hits between 1964 and 1967. By 1967 the Supremes were the most successful act on the Motown label, with Ross established as the focal point of the group.

That year, Florence Ballard was replaced by Cindy Birdsong of Patti LaBelle & the Blue Belles, and the group's name was changed to "Diana Ross & the Supremes." The group continued a frenzied pace of network TV show appearances, supper club gigs and recording time with a revolving team of producers after Holland-Dozier-Holland left Motown in late 1967. Their last two H-D-H singles, the psychedelic "Reflections", peaked at number-two in mid-1967, and the jazzy "In And Out Of Love" which peaked at number 9, on December 9, 1967. In 1968, "Love Child" returned the Supremes to number-one, followed by their duet with The Temptations, "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me". "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" went to number-two, and for the second out of three times in their career, The Supremes had two songs in the Top 10 simultaneously. Diana Ross & the Supremes became the most successful American musical group of the 1960s, and the second most successful international group of the decade, behind The Beatles. Motown began plans to have Ross begin a solo career in 1968. Television specials such as TCB (1968) and G.I.T. on Broadway (1969) were designed to spotlight Ross as a star in her own right, and much of the later Ross-led Supremes material was recorded by Ross with session singers The Andantes, not Wilson and Birdsong, on backing vocals.

By the summer of 1969, Jean Terrell was chosen by Gordy to be Ross' replacement and Ross began her first solo recordings. In November of the same year, three years after it was first rumored, Billboard magazine confirmed Ross' exit from the group to begin her solo career. In conjunction with the launching of her solo career, Ross introduced Motown's newest act, The Jackson 5, to national audiences. Ross began her solo sessions with a number of producers, including Bones Howe and Johnny Bristol. Her first track with Bristol, "Someday We'll Be Together", was tagged as her first solo single; it was instead issued as the final Diana Ross & the Supremes release. "Someday We'll Be Together" was the twelfth and final number-one hit for the Supremes, and the last Number One record of the 1960s. Ross made her final appearance with the Supremes at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas on January 14, 1970. In late-1971, it was announced that Diana Ross was going to play jazz icon Billie Holiday in a Motown-produced biographical film loosely based on Holiday's autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues. From the moment the film was announced, critics ridiculed Ross throughout the media: Ross and Holiday were miles apart from each other in style and appearance. Ross soldiered on, immersing herself into Holiday's music and life story.

Diana actually knew little about Holiday, and wasn't a big fan of jazz in general. She did not attempt to imitate Holiday's voice, instead, Ross focused on adapting Holiday's vocal phrasing. According to a television documentary, Ross studied Holiday's character so well that Motown executive Suzanne de Passe says Gordy told her to "put a little Diana back into it". Opening in October 1972, Lady Sings the Blues was a phenomenal success, and Ross' performance drew universal rave reviews. The movie co-starred Brian's Song star Billy Dee Williams, who played Holiday's lover, Louis McKay. Also appearing was, in his film debut, comedian and actor Richard Pryor, who played the "Piano Man". In 1973, Ross was nominated for both the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Actress. Winning a Golden Globe for Best Newcomer, Ross lost the Best Actress Oscar to her friend Liza Minnelli, for her role in Cabaret. The soundtrack album for Lady Sings the Blues went to number-one album on the Billboard 200 for two weeks, and reportedly sold 300,000 copies during its first eight days of release. The soundtrack also garnered accolades for Ross, as critics praised her for "suggesting Billie Holiday" with her delivery and expertly capturing Holiday's intricate phrasing. Diana Ross' RCA Records debut, the platinum-selling Why Do Fools Fall in Love, was issued in the summer of 1981.

The album yielded Top 10 hits such as the title track "Why Do Fools Fall in Love", a remake of the 1956 Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers classic of the same name, and the single "Mirror, Mirror". In 1983, Ross reunited with former Supremes Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong for the television special Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever. The three singers performed their 1969 number-one hit "Someday We'll Be Together", although altercations onstage between Ross and Wilson became an issue during the taping of the special. Wilson conspired with Birdsong to take a step forward everytime Ross did. Wilson did not follow the script set by producer Suzanne DePasse which did not go over well with Ross. Ross was to introduce Berry Gordy, however Wilson took it upon herself to do so, at which point Ross pulled Wilson's hand down and said "It's been taken care of." Ross then proceeded to introduce Gordy herself. [3] These incidents were excised from the final edit of the taped special, but still made their way into the news media; People magazine reported that "Ross [did] some elbowing to get Wilson out of the spotlight." [4] Later that year, Ross held a much-heralded concert in Central Park, the proceeds of which were to go towards building a playground in the singer's name. Fifteen minutes into the show, which was being filmed for Showtime cable television, it began to rain, and as she urged the crowd of 300,000 to safely exit the venue, Ross announced that she would continue the performance the next day. Ross' actions drew praise within the mainstream press.

That next day, over 500,000 people came back for one of the largest free concerts in the park's history. However, the second show generated controversy. New York mayor Ed Koch objected to the expenses of a second show. To settle the matter, Ross personally wrote a check for an estimated $250,000 to cover the remaining costs. Although Koch's objections slowed the progress, the Diana Ross Playground was finally built three years later. [5] Ross's 1984 album Swept Away became her final largely successful album for many years Stateside, going gold. The hit singles from the album included "All of You" feat. Julio Iglesias ,"Telephone", "Swept Away" and her final #1 R & B Hit (#10 Pop) Billboard hit to date, "Missing You." Other hit singles recorded by Ross for RCA included "Muscles" (1982), "Swept Away" (1984), "Missing You" (1984), "Eaten Alive" (1985) and the UK number-one single, "Chain Reaction" (1986). While Ross continued to have success overseas as the 1980s continued, she began to struggle on the United States Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 1989, after leaving RCA, Diana Ross returned to Motown, where Ross was now both a part-owner and a recording artist. In 1989, Diana Ross released her first Motown album in eight years, the Nile Rodgers-produced Workin' Overtime. Despite a top three R&B hit with the title track, the album failed to find a pop audience in America, much as Ross' later RCA releases has. Subsequent follow-ups such as 1991's The Force Behind the Power, 1995's Take Me Higher and 1999's Every Day is a New Day produced the same results in the US however, charted in the United Kingdom.

Ross still had success with her latter-day Motown albums in the United Kingdom and Europe, however, scoring Top 10 Hits with "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" (1991), "Take Me Higher" (1995) and "Not Over You Yet" (1999). Ross was a halftime performer at Super Bowl XXX in 1996. In 1999, Diana Ross was named the most successful female singer in the history of the United Kingdom charts, based upon a tally of her career hits. Fellow Michigan songbird Madonna would eventually beat Ross out as the most successful female artist in the UK. In 2002, Diana Ross and Motown parted ways. Diana Ross returned to acting in the ABC telefilm, Out of Darkness (1994), in which she played a woman suffering from schizophrenia. Once again, Ross drew critical acclaim for her acting, and scored her third Golden Globe nomination for acting. In 1999, Ross co-starred with young R&B singer Brandy for the ABC television movie Double Platinum playing a singer who neglected her daughter while concentrating on her career. Diana Ross was a presenter at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards, held that September. She shocked TV viewers when she grabbed rapper Lil' Kim's exposed breast, reportedly amazed at the open brashness of the rapper showcasing her body?[6] A month after the Lil Kim incident, authorities at London's Heathrow Airport detained Ross for assaulting a female security guard.

Angered over a "body search" by the guard that she felt was invasive, Ross had fondled the woman back. The singer was arrested but was later released.[7] In 2000, Ross announced a Supremes reunion tour, again with Wilson and Birdsong, called Return to Love. Wilson and Birdsong declined the tour because of a reported difference in pay offered to each member: Ross was offered $15 million while Wilson was offered $3 million and Birdsong less than $1 million.[8] They were replaced by latter-day Supremes Lynda Laurence and Scherrie Payne. It should be of note that both Lynda Laurence and Scherrie Payne were members of the Supremes after Diana Ross had left The Supremes. Despite a respectable opening in Philadelphia, the"Return to Love" tour was cancelled after nine dates, because of lackluster ticket sales. In 2005, Diana Ross returned to the charts with a pair of duets. "I Got a Crush on You" was recorded with Rod Stewart for his album The Great American Songbook, and reached number nineteen on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary chart. Another duet, recorded with Westlife, was a remake of Ross' 1991 number-two UK single, "When You Tell Me You Love Me", and reached number-two in the UK just as the original had. In 2006, Motown released a shelved Ross album titled Blue, which was a collection of jazz standards recorded after Ross filmed Lady Sings the Blues. Released in June to stellar reviews, Blue peaked at number-two on the jazz albums chart. In August, it was announced that Ross would release a new studio album of classic rock and soul standards on the EMI label Angel Records.

The album, titled I Love You, was released on October 2 around the world, and then saw release in North America on January 16, 2007, on the Manhattan Records/EMI label.[9] The new album proved to be a comeback of sorts, achieving Hot Shot Debut status on the Billboard 200 by debuting at no. 32, and giving Diana her first Top 40 album on that chart since Swept Away, over two decades earlier. Since its US release in 2007, EMI Inside reports that "I Love You" has sold more than 100,000 copies in the USA and 38,000 in the United Kingdom. In January 2007, Diana appeared on a number of TV shows across the U.S. to promote her new album and began touring in the spring. She also appeared on American Idol as a mentor to the contestants[10] Diana's US "I Love You" tour has garnered very positive reviews, the European leg of the tour begins on May 6, 2007