Diana Ross, also known as Diana Ernestine Earle Ross, is an American entertainer and actress who was born on March 26, 1944. She rose to prominence as the lead vocalist of the Supremes, a vocal group that became Motown’s most successful act in the 1960s and one of the best-selling female groups of all time.
With twelve number-one hit singles on the US Billboard Hot 100, including “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” and “Love Child,” they are the best-charting female group in history.
Ross went on to have a successful solo career in music, film, television, and on stage after leaving The Supremes in 1970. The number-one song “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and the music anthem “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” was featured on her self-titled debut solo album.
Her second solo album, Everything Is Everything, was released shortly after and featured her first UK number-one song, “I’m Still Waiting.”
Early Years of Diana Ross
Ross’ grandpa, John E. Ross, was born to Washington Ross and Virginia Baytop in Gloucester County, Virginia. Francis “Frankey” Baytop, Virginia’s mother, was a former slave who became a midwife after the Civil War.
Ross and her family used to live at 635 Belmont St. in Detroit’s North End, in Highland Park, Michigan, where she shared a house with Smokey Robinson. Ross’s mother had tuberculosis when she was seven years old, and she became quite sick.
The Reverend (pastor of Bessemer Baptist Church) and Mrs. William Moton, Ross’ parents, sent their children to live with Ernestine’s parents in Bessemer, Alabama. She and her siblings returned to Detroit after her mother recovered.
Her family moved to the working-class Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects on her 14th birthday in 1958, landing on St. Antoine Street. Ross enrolled in garment design, millinery, pattern making, and tailoring studies at Cass Technical High School, a four-year college and preparation magnet school in downtown Detroit because she wanted to be a fashion designer.
Family and Relationships
Ross has five children and has been married twice. In 1965, Ross began a love relationship with Berry Gordy, the CEO of Motown Records. Ross’s eldest child, Rhonda Suzanne Silberstein, was born in August 1971, after the couple had been together for some years.
Ross married music executive Robert Ellis Silberstein two months into her pregnancy with Rhonda in January 1971, and he raised Rhonda as his own daughter despite not knowing her true paternity.
When Rhonda was 13 years old, Ross informed her that Gordy was her biological father. Rhonda had previously referred to Gordy as “Uncle B.B. Ross and Silberstein have two daughters: Tracee Joy and Chudney Lane Silberstein, who were born in 1972 and 1975, respectively.
Ross and Silberstein divorced in 1977, and Ross moved to New York City in the early 1980s after living in Los Angeles since the early 1970s, when Motown relocated to the area.
Films and Solo Career
Ross’s self-titled solo debut was released in May 1970, and it featured her iconic songs “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” the latter of which became Ross’s first number-one solo single.
Following that, the albums Everything Is Everything and Surrender were released. Her first number-one record in the UK was the ballad “I’m Still Waiting” in 1971. Later that year, in 1971, Ross starred in Diana!, her first solo television special, which featured Michael Jackson.
Diana Ross began work on her debut film, Lady Sings the Blues, in 1971, which was based on the life of singer Billie Holiday. Despite some criticism for accepting the role, Ross received critical acclaim for her performance in the film when it premiered in October 1972.
Holiday’s friend and jazz journalist Leonard Feather praised Ross for “expertly capturing the essence of Lady Day.
What Is Diana Ross’s Net Worth?
Diana Ross has a net worth of $ 250 million as of 2022. Diana Ross was born in Huntington, New York, and is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actor. During her career, she has sold over 200 million records, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
How Did Diana Ross Get So Rich?
It was during the time that she left The Supremes that Diana Ross started to become very rich. Continuing the momentum that she scored with the girl band, Diana Ross quickly released her first solo studio album.
The eponymous album included some of her signature songs – “Reach Out and Touch”, and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough“, which became her first single to debut at the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100.
Just a year later, after she released her second solo album, Ross starred in her solo television special which was called “Diana!”.
In 1972, Motown Records issued a duet album between Diana and Marvin Gaye. In 1973, Ross became the first-ever entertainer in the history of Japan to receive an invitation to the spectacular Imperial Palace.
In April 1974, at the 46th Academy Awards, Ross made history by becoming the first African-American woman to ever co-host the awards. Her most successful album to date, Diana, was released in 1980. While she was constantly releasing hit singles and music albums, Ross also began appearing more in various television series and films.
Why Is She So Famous?
She was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Her career started when she was just 15 years old. At that time, she joined a sister group called the “Primes”, which served as the sister act of the Primes.
The group consisted of Ross, Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, and Betty McGlown. After the group signed with Motown Records, in 1961, they started using the name “The Supremes”.
Just a year after that, Barbara Martin (who had replaced McGlown) left the act, and then the group was turned into a trio consisting of Ballard, Ross, and Wilson.
What Made Her So Successful?
Diana Ross has a fantastic voice and a commanding presence on stage. Her meticulous work ethic and perfectionist mindset resulted in some of the decade’s most spectacular performances. Later musicians such as Michael Jackson and Madonna cited him as a big influence.
It didn’t take long for Diana Ross to become successful. As soon as she left The Supremes, the talented artist gained a lot of popularity for her fun and caring personality, as well as her stunning acting and singing abilities.