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Ross, Diane Ernestine

Born: 1944 AD
Currently alive, at 78 years of age.
Nationality: American
Categories: Columnist, Singer

1944 – Diana Ross was born as Diane Ernestine Earle Ross on March 26th in Detroit, Michigan, the second of six children born to Fred and Ernestine.

1959 – With friends Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard and Barbara Martin, she formed a vocal group, "The Primettes", at age 15.

1969 – Gordy announced that Ross would be leaving the group for a solo career.

1970 – She played her last concert with The Supremes and started working with the songwriting team of Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson. Ross’ first two songs by the team reached #1 on both the pop and R&B charts, justifying her move.

1972 – Prior to starting a family of her own, she won the title role in the Billie Holiday biopic "Lady Sings the Blues", which was extremely successful at the box office, and had the distinction of being nominated for an Academy Award for her first film.


1975-1978 – The movie’s soundtrack reached #1 on the U.S. charts. Despite fame and fortune, her next two big films, "Mahogany" and "The Wiz", didn’t meet with the same success.

         – In February, just before another #1 hit with "Love Hangover," she was stunned when her singing partner and friend, Florence Ballard, died after complications from a combination of alcohol abuse and long-term depression, which led to cardiac arrest.

1981 – She performed the theme song from "Endless Love", which was composed by Lionel Richie.

1986 – After she sang a tribute song dedicated to the late Marvin Gaye, Ross scored another #1 song in the UK with "Chain Reaction," which brought back her days as the member of The Supremes’ , and was written and produced by The Bee Gees.

1989 – After an eight-year absence, she came back to Motown.

1993 – Ross had gained more fame through concert appearances over the years, and in April she became a best-selling author with her first and only children’s book, "When You Dream," which featured a CD with four songs that were dedicated to the book.

         – She was declared by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the most successful female singer of all times.

1995 – She was honored with the Heritage Award for Lifetime Achievement on the Soul Train Awards.


1999 – After receiving those honors, she came back to the studio with "Every Day Is A New Day," and the song reached the UK Top 10.

2000 – With Mary Wilson–the only other surviving original Supremes member–she planned to book a Supremes reunion tour, but this was eventually canceled.

2002 – She was arrested in Tucson, Arizona, for driving under the influence and after pleading guilty was sentenced to two days in jail, 36 hours of counseling and one year probation.

         – She is hard at work finishing her forthcoming book, "Upside Down: Wrong Turns, Right Turns and the Road Ahead."