Diana Ross, 1976 by Motown Records/Wikimedia Commons
Today is the birthday of Detroit-born Motown singer, actress, record producer, and all around legend Diana Ross. The Black PR Wire Power news release in honor of her birthday says:
Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Ross rose to fame as the lead singer of the vocal group, The Supremes, who during the 1960s became Motown’s most successful act, and are the best-charting female group in US history, as well as one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time. The group released a record-setting twelve number one hit singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, including “Where Did Our Love Go”, “Baby Love”, “Come See About Me”, “Stop! In the Name of Love”, “You Can’t Hurry Love”, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”, “Love Child”, and “Someday We’ll Be Together”.
Following her departure from the Supremes in 1970, Ross released her eponymous debut solo album that same year, featuring the No. 1 Pop hit “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” She later released the album “Touch Me in the Morning” in 1973; its title track was her second solo No. 1 hit. She continued a successful solo career through the 1970s, which included hit albums like Mahogany and Diana Ross and their No. 1 hit singles, “Theme from Mahogany” and “Love Hangover”, respectively. Her 1980 album “Diana” produced another No. 1 single, “Upside Down”, as well as the international hit “I’m Coming Out.” Her final single with Motown during her initial run with the company achieved her sixth and final U.S. number one Pop hit, the duet “Endless Love” featuring Lionel Richie, whose solo career was launched with its success.
Ross has also ventured into acting, with a Golden Globe Award-winning and Academy Award–nominated performance in the film “Lady Sings the Blues” (1972); she recorded its soundtrack, which became a number one hit. She also starred in two other feature films, “Mahogany” (1975) and “The Wiz” (1978), later acting in the television films “Out of Darkness” (1994), for which she also was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, and Double Platinum (1999).
She is the only female artist to have number one singles as a solo artist; as the other half of a duet (Lionel Richie); as a member of a trio; and as an ensemble member (We are the World-USA for Africa). In 1976, Ross was named the “Female Entertainer of the Century” by Billboard magazine. In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared her the most successful female music artist in history, due to her success in the United States and United Kingdom for having more hits than any female artist in the charts, with a career total of 70 hit singles with her work with the Supremes and as a solo artist. She had a top 10 UK hit in every one of the last five decades, and sang lead on a top 75 hit single at least once every year from 1964 to 1996 in the UK, a period of 33 consecutive years and a record for any performer.
In 1988, Ross was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Supremes, alongside Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard. She was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2007, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.
Dig into the Supremes at Motown Museum!