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Born on March 26, 1944, Diane Ernestine Earle Ross - known to us as Diana Ross, is a multi-talented person and an American soloist, lyricist and actor. Her musical range covers R&B, soul, pop, disco and jazz. Prior to her launch as a blooming soloist in 1970 - that lasted through the decades, Ross initially achieved prominence as main vocalist of ?The Supremes?.
Because of her mother's poor health, Ross?s family lived in Bessemer, Alabama for a short time though Ross was born and brought up in Detroit, Michigan. When Ross was fourteen, her family returned to Detroit and they settled in the Brewster-Douglass projects. Ross started her music career, the subsequent year, with neighborhood friends - Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, and Betty McGlown as the doo-wop foursome ?The Primettes? - a sister group to local act ?The Primes? - who turned into ?The Temptations? later on. In 1961, the group signed a deal with Motown Records and changed the band?s name from ?The Primettes? to ?The Supremes?. Same year Barbara Martin replaced McGlown ? though she remained in the group for a short while leaving ?The Supremes? to move on as a trio.
Ross' foremost solo LP titled ?Diana Ross? contained her first solo number-one hit, Ain't No Mountain High Enough. Ross advanced with the production team of Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson - the innovative minds behind Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell's sensational duets, after a half-year of recording ideas with various producers. Ashford and Simpson controlled most of Ross' first album ? ?Diana Ross? and remained to write and produce for Ross over the next decade.
?Diana Ross? the album, was released on Motown in May 1970. The sensuous first single Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand) hit a number 20 on the ?Billboard Hot 100?. A cover of Gaye and Terrell's 1967 hit Ain't No Mountain High Enough and the album's second single gave Ross her first number 1 pop single as a soloist and turned out to be an international hit. The same song received a Grammy nomination for ?Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female? for Ross.
Ross turned into the most flourishing female singer of the rock era, during the 1970s and into the early to mid 1980s subsequently stepping into film, television and Broadway. Ross has been awarded a Tony Award for the music special ?An Evening with Diana Ross (1977)?, seven American Music Awards, and a special Golden Globe Award for her lead role in the Billie Holiday biographical film ?Lady Sings the Blues (1972)? during her entire career. Moreover, Ross has been recommended for twelve Grammy Awards and an Academy Award for Best Actor. With 45 years of career, her albums and singles sales are estimated as more than 100 million.
She was chosen as the ?Female entertainer of the century? by Billboard magazine in 1976 and with 18 American number-one singles: twelve as lead vocalist of ?The Supremes? and six as a solo artist, Guinness World Records acknowledged Diana Ross as the most successful female music artist of the 20th century. Ross was the first female soloist to get six number-ones also among the few artists to have two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - one as a solo artist and the other as a Band member.
Ross and Marvin Gaye had started a joint venture for an album in 1971. Ross, then expecting her second child - Trace Ellis Ross, ran into an argument when the co-singer Gaye refused to quit smoking marijuana in the studio resulting into the recording of this duet album titled ?Diana & Marvin? in separate studios in 1972.
It was released in 1973 turned out to be a sensation, with their cover of The Stylistics? You Are Everything grabbing a top ten hit in United Kingdom. Touch Me in the Morning, a ballad composed by Michael Masser became Ross' second number-one pop single as a solo artist in 1973. ?Touch Me in the Morning? LP was a Top 10 success in both the United States and the United Kingdom, and the title track secure Ross a second Grammy nomination.
Ross released a second self-titled album in 1976, which contained yet some more hits such as Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To) and Love Hangover?.
?Why Do Fools Fall in Love? Ross' first appearance LP for Ross Records - distributed by RCA Records (a debut) was issued in the summer of 1981 and gave a platinum sale. The chartbuster album produced 3 Top 10 hits including the title track Why Do Fools Fall in Love, a remake of the 1956 Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers classic of the same name along with the single Mirror Mirror.
Ross came together with earlier Supremes Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong for the television special ?Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever? in 1983. Even though a conflict on stage between Ross and Wilson became a problem through the recording, yet, the three singers performed their 1969 number-one hit Someday We'll Be Together. Since Ross refused to rehearse with The Girls stating that they would have to be happy just doing Some Day We'll Be Together, the plan for doing the four song Supreme set was cancelled. In order to remain prominent and visible, taking the advantage of lack of rehearsals, Wilson planned with Birdsong to take a step forward every time Ross did; unaware of the fact that the script set by producer Suzanne DePasse also did not go over well with Ross.
Ross ranked number 38 on VH1?s The 100 Greatest Women in Rock and Roll, as a solo singer where as ?The Supremes? ranked number 16 in 1999.
Diana Ross hit back to the charts with a duo of duets in 2005. Recorded with Rod Stewart for his album ?The Great American Songbook?, I Got a Crush on You bagged number 19 on the ?Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary chart?. A remake of Ross? 1991 number-two UK single, When You Tell Me You Love Me, recorded with Westlife, reached number-two in the UK just as the original had.
In 2006, a collection of jazz standards recorded after Ross filmed ?Lady Sings the Blues? Motown released a shelved Ross album titled ?Blue?, grabbed number-two on the jazz albums chart . An announcement was made in August about release of a studio album of classic rock and soul standards on the EMI label Angel Records by Ross.
On October 2, world saw the release of the album titled ?I Love You?, followed by a saw release in North America on January 16, 2007, on the Manhattan Records/EMI label. By hooking at number 32 on the pop albums chart getting slots in the popular Hot Shot Debut by Billboard magazine, the new album helped Ross reach top forty US pop album since 1984's ?Swept Away?. According to EMI Inside reports, ?I Love You? has sold more than 100,000 copies in the USA and 38,000 in the United Kingdom, since its release in 2007.