Diana Ross's Rise To Stardom

Published on June 5, 2021

Diana Ross’s Early Life

Diana Ross was born “Diana Ernestine Earle Ross” in Detroit, Michigan in March 1944. She was brought up in a mostly African American low-income neighborhood and her mother was a schoolteacher and her father was a former Army soldier. Diana would later go on to become one of the most successful and greatest female singers of the rock era. She is an American singer and actress who rose to fame during the 1960s as the lead singer in The Supremes. Ross went on to sell over 100 million records worldwide and has one of the most revered and iconic voices in the history of pop music. She’s also known for her diva attitude and fashion sense.

Her Career and Musical Achievements

In 1959, Diana, along with Florence Ballard, Barbara Martin, and Mary Wilson formed the Primettes. The Primes were the male vocal group and the Primettes were the sister group. In 1960 in Windsor, Ontario the group won a talent show when auditioning for Motown Records. Berry Gordy, the label’s founder advised the group to finish high school. After, the agreed to rename themselves “The Supremes” and were signed in 1961.

In 1964, “Where Did Our Love Go” became the group's first big hit and the song was a byproduct of songwriter Holland-Dozier-Holland. The group would go on to sing 10 number one hit singles and achieved massive success in the UK. Ross had a voice that stood out from the rest and Gordy realized her magnificent voice quality. She appealed to all audiences, both black and white, and became the groups lead singer in 1966.

The group's outfits and hairstyles became a huge hit. The Supremes' unique look was extremely popular. When they performed on TV their performances were perfectly choreographed. Diana Ross and The Supremes became one of the highest-paid groups in the US. The group performed one last time in January 1970 before Ross embarked on her solo career.

500,000 copies of Ross’s critically acclaimed eponymous solo debut album were sold in the US and reached the top of the US Billboard R&B Albums Chart. Her albums Everything Is Everything and Surrender were successful, and Ross has gone on to become a superstar both on the stage and on the screen. She performed in Whiz (1977) and won a Tony and she still continues to record music and perform.

Awards and Accolades

In 2007, Diana Ross received the Kennedy Center Honors and has earned many awards and accolades throughout her career. In 2012 she won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and in 1988 she and The Supremes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.