Diana Ross – Biography
Diana Ross was the second child of Ernestine who was a schoolteacher, and Fred Ross, Sr. a former United States Army soldier. She was born on March 26, 1944 at Hutzel Women’s Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. Her full name is Diana Ernestine Earle Ross.
Diana Ross’s singing career started when she was only fifteen when she joined a group called the Primettes. In 1960, the group, after winning a singing contest, tried to audition for a spot on Motown Records. They were rejected because of their young age. However, they persisted and eventually got a recording contract from Lu Pine Records, with Ross as the lead singer.
In 1961 the group took on the name The Supremes after Berry Gordy from Motown convinced them that they would be signed up if they agree to the change. Diana Ross and The Supremes scored quite a number of big hits as a group before she went on her solo career, though still keeping her commitment to The Supremes.
Diana Ross started giving solo performance in 1968 in TV shows as well as The Supremes own specials. By mid 1969, Ross was on her way to be a truly solo performer after Gordy decided to have her leave the Supremes totally. She was given credit as the artist who discovered The Jackson Five after introducing the group to several public events including The Hollywood Palace
In 1970 she made a clean break from the Supremes and signed signed a new contract as a solo artist with Motown Records.
Two months later, Motown released her eponymous solo debut, which included the hits, “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, the latter song becoming her first number-one single as a solo artist on the pop and R&B charts, also becoming an international hit reaching the UK top ten, and winning Ross her first Grammy nomination.
Apart from her singing, Diana Ross also made a name for herself as an actress. She was nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award for her role as Billie Holiday in Lady Sings the Blues. The film won her the Golden Globe award.
Diana Ross’s achievements as a singer includes winning seven American Music Awards. She won a Tony Award for her one-woman show, An Evening with Diana Ross, in 1977 and was honored with a 2012 Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award
One of the few artist to have the honour of having two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one as a soloist and one as member of The Supremes, Diana Ross also received the Kennedy Center Honors in December 2007.