Diana Ross

“It’s taken me a lifetime to get here. I’m not going anywhere.”

Diana Ross, American entertainer and actress, 1944-present 

Diana Ross rose to fame as lead singer for The Supremes, the most successful girl’s group in U.S. history with 12 number one hits. As a solo artist, she was in a league of her own, as a singer and later, as an actor, with her free-flowing curls, glamorous ensembles and powerful voice. 

Ross was born to a large family in the Detroit housing projects. Although she studied fashion design in high school, it was music that won her over. She started The Supremes with neighborhood friends in 1959 and a year later they were signed to Motown Records, where Ross worked as a secretary. Their number one hits, just as iconic today, included “Baby Love,” and “Stop! In the Name of Love.” She went solo in 1970 with the debut single “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” going on to accumulate a total of 70 number one hits in her lifetime. Astoundingly, she has never won a Grammy Award for any of them. 

In 1972 she launched a second career in acting, most memorably playing Billie Holiday in 1972's Lady Sings the Blues. She had five children by two men, and is a champion of children’s charities. She once sang a free concert (during a storm) in a park to raise money to build a playground. 

In 2012 she received a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016. When she turned 75 in 2019, she threw a celebrity-studded party at a Los Angeles nightclub where every surface, including the ceiling, was covered in flowers. When it came time to sing “Happy Birthday,” Beyoncé stepped up to the mic.


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