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Also Known As: Diane Ernestine Ross Died:
Born: March 26, 1944 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Detroit, Michigan, USA Profession: singer, actor, fashion designer, cafeteria bus girl

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Pop superstar Diana Ross graduated from lead singer of the most famous girl group in showbiz (The Supremes) to a solo act combining coy, feline sexuality with slick packaging. Despite obvious acting skills, however, movie stardom has eluded her thus far. She grew up in the Detroit projects, one of five children. By her late teens, she was singing in a quintet, The Primettes (distaff version of The Primes, a Motown group). In 1961, the group was down to a trio: Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard. They were renamed The Supremes and signed by Motown's star-maker, Berry Gordy Jr. Drilled in harmony and sleekly groomed, The Supremes were marketed for mass popularity. Ross had found her niche. From the start, she seemed intent on being the supreme Supreme, and her romance with Gordy certainly didn't hinder her rise. In 1967, original lead singer Ballard was replaced and the group became known as Diana Ross and the Supremes. Between 1964-70, the Supremes helped reshape the "girl group" sound, becoming the most successful black recording artists of their day. Their danceable, hummable hits included "Where Did Our Love Go?" (1964), "Stop! In the Name of Love" (1965), "You Can't Hurry Love" (1966), "The...

Pop superstar Diana Ross graduated from lead singer of the most famous girl group in showbiz (The Supremes) to a solo act combining coy, feline sexuality with slick packaging. Despite obvious acting skills, however, movie stardom has eluded her thus far. She grew up in the Detroit projects, one of five children. By her late teens, she was singing in a quintet, The Primettes (distaff version of The Primes, a Motown group). In 1961, the group was down to a trio: Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard. They were renamed The Supremes and signed by Motown's star-maker, Berry Gordy Jr. Drilled in harmony and sleekly groomed, The Supremes were marketed for mass popularity.

Ross had found her niche. From the start, she seemed intent on being the supreme Supreme, and her romance with Gordy certainly didn't hinder her rise. In 1967, original lead singer Ballard was replaced and the group became known as Diana Ross and the Supremes. Between 1964-70, the Supremes helped reshape the "girl group" sound, becoming the most successful black recording artists of their day. Their danceable, hummable hits included "Where Did Our Love Go?" (1964), "Stop! In the Name of Love" (1965), "You Can't Hurry Love" (1966), "The Happening" (1967), "Love Child" (1968) and "Stoned Love" (1970).

Acting was always one of Ross' ambitions. In 1968, The Supremes (in a bizarre casting choice) appeared as nuns in an episode of the TV series "Tarzan". Ross left the group in 1971, and the following year made a smashing film debut in the Billie Holliday story, "Lady Sings the Blues". She earned an Oscar nomination for her sometimes over-the-top, but deeply felt and effective performance. Next, Ross played "Mahogany" (1975), a ghetto-born fashion diva up to her opera gloves in suds and suitors. She also designed the sumptuous costumes and sang the theme. Ross' leading man in both films was the devastatingly handsome Billy Dee Williams, and the stars' onscreen chemistry did much to help the box office.

But Ross was not able to follow-up on her early success. "The Wiz" (1978), a monumental career mistake which failed to recreate the Broadway triumph and brought the mature Ross unfavorable comparisons with Judy Garland, did nothing to turn the tide. She did a number of TV concerts, including "An Evening with Diana Ross" (NBC, 1977), "Diana Ross in Concert" (HBO, 1979), "Diana Ross ... Red-Hot Rhythm and Blues" (ABC, 1987) and contributed popular songs to such films as "It's My Turn" (1980), "Endless Love" (1981) and others. Anthologies of her many hits, with and without the Supremes, have sold well, and she continues to produce a hit song every few years.

Ross' diva-like personality, concert tours and romances have kept her in the headlines, but it wasn't until 1994 that she had to chance to display her range as an actress again. As a paranoid schizophrenic in the TV-movie "Out of Darkness" (ABC, 1994), she received rave reviews, an Emmy Award nomination and reminded her audience that she was more than just a former Supreme.

Ross proved herself again when she teamed with teen pop star Brandy for the television movie "Double Platinum" (ABC, 1999). She played the mother who abandoned her daughter at birth and the film offerred a chance for Brandy to work with a longtime idol. In 2000, Ross began a tour with the Supremes, only to terminate the tour after 12 cities. In 2002, she was set to tour again, this time in a solo venture, but checked into rehab and called off the tour before it began.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Double Platinum (1999) Olivia King
3.
 Out of Darkness (1994) Paulie Cooper
4.
 The Wiz (1978) Dorothy
5.
 Mahogany (1975) Tracy Chambers--'Mahogany'
10.
 27th Annual American Music Awards, The (2000) Host (Tribute To Martin Luther King)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1959:
Began singing with The Primettes, a quintette in Detroit (date approxiamte)
1960:
Two Primettes left group, and Ross continued singing with remaining two, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard
1961:
Trio is renamed The Supremes and signed by Motown's Berry Gordy Jr.
1964:
"Where Did Our Love Go" by The Supremes went to Number 1 on the record charts in August
1964:
The Supremes made their first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on Christmas Eve
1965:
The Supremes appeared at The Copacabana in July
1965:
First film appearance, with The Supremes singing two songs, including title song, in "Beach Ball"
1967:
"Love is Here and Now You're Gone", last single featuring Florence Ballard as group member, released in the spring
1967:
Group became Diana Ross and the Supremes in the fall
1968:
TV acting debut in guest appearance on "Tarzan"; Diana Ross and the Supremes portrayed nuns
1969:
Made final TV appearance with the Supremes on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on December 21
1970:
Made final public appearance with the Supremes at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas on January 14
1970:
First solo hit, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"
1971:
Performed in first hour-long TV special, "Diana", for NBC
1972:
Made feature film acting debut in "Lady Sings the Blues", as Billie Holliday
1976:
Death of Florence Ballard from a heart attack on February 21
1981:
Left Motown and signed with RCA and EMI/Capitol
1982:
Reunited with The Supremes for NBC special honoring Motown's 25-year history
1983:
Central Park charity concert outing scheduled for July rained out by major torrent while in performance
1984:
Mary Wilson's autobiography, "Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme", published
1987:
TV producing debut, the special "Diana Ross . . . Red Hot Rhythm and Blues"
1992:
Was played by actress Holly Robinson on the TV miniseries, "The Jacksons: An American Dream"
1994:
Made dramatic TV-movie debut, "Out of Darkness"; also executive produced
1994:
Received the French Commander of Arts and Letters medal; France's highest arts award
1999:
Co-starred with Brandy in the ABC TV-movie "Double Platinum"
2000:
Headlined a concert tour with the Supremes; original group members Florence Birdsong and Mary Wilson did not participate; tour cancelled after performances in 12 cities
2002:
Checked into Promises, a rehab center in Malibu before embarking on a summer tour; three months later cancelled tour altogether
2006:
"Blue" a never issued album recorded in 1972, was released (June) after its discovery in the Motown vault
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Education

Cass Technical High School: Detroit , Michigan -

Notes

Her website is locates at dianaross.com

Ross was given a citation from former Vice President Hubert Humphrey on behalf of former President Lyndon Johnson's Youth Opportunity Program

She received a citation from Mrs. Martin Luther King and Rev. Abernathy for her contribution to the SCLC cause.

Ross was named Female Entertainer of the Century, BILLBOARD magazine.

She was also named World's Outstanding Singer by CASHBOX and RECORD WORLD

Ross is president of Diana Ross Enterprises, Inc., with divisions including Anaid Film Productions, Inc.; Diana Ross Foundation; RTC Management Corporation; Chondee, Inc.; Rosstown, Inc. and Rossville, Inc.

Ross was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988

She has received a Golden Apple Award (1972)

On December 30, 2002, Ross was arrested for drunken driving in Tucson, Arizona; Convicted of a DUI January 09, 2004, sentenced to serve 48 hours in jail and to a year of unsupervised probation

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Berry Gordy Jr. Recording executive. Founder of Motown Records; father of Ross' daughter Rhonda.
husband:
Robert Ellis Silberstein. Rock promoter. Married in January 1971; divorced in 1976; father of Ross' daughters Tracee and Chudney.
husband:
Arne Naess. Shipping magnate. Married on October 23, 1985; remarried on February 1, 1986; separated; filed for divorce in April 1999; divorced in the Dominican Republic on February 11, 2000; father of Ross' sons Ross and Arne.
companion:
Michael Bloomberg. Businessman. Dated briefly.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Fred Ross. Brass factory worker.
mother:
Ernestine Ross.
sister:
Rita Ross. Actor.
brother:
Fred Ross Jr.
brother:
Arthur Ross. Born c. 1949; murdered in June 1996.
brother:
Chico Ross.
daughter:
Rhonda Suzanne Silberstein. Singer, actor. Born in 1971; father Berry Gordy Jr; found out that Gordy was her father at age 13; cast on the NBC daytime drama "Another World".
daughter:
Tracee Joy Silberstein. Actor. Born in 1972.
daughter:
Chudney Lane Silberstein. Born in 1975.
son:
Ross Arne Naess. Born October 7, 1987.
son:
Evan Naess. Born c. 1988.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Supreme Lady"
"Call Her Miss Ross" Carol Publishing Group

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