Best known as the the lead singer of the popular 1960s singing group The Supremes. Diana Ross wasn’t picked to become the group’s lead singer until Motown honcho Berry Gordy decided that the time was exactly right, and from then on he described the group as “Diana Ross and the Supremes.” From 1965 to 1969 the group had a string of #1 records. In late 1969 Gordy announced that Ross would be leaving the group for a solo career. In the third week of 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. Prior to starting a family of her own, she won the title role in the Billie Holiday biopic Lady Sings the Blues (1972), which was extremely successful at the box office, and had the distinction of being nominated for an Academy Award for her first film. The movie’s soundtrack reached #1 on the U.S. charts. Her next two big films,Mahogany (1975) and The Wiz (1978).
Her singing career and continued having more #1 songs, including “Upside Down”. The following year she performed the theme song from Endless Love (1981), which was composed by Lionel Richie. That same year she left Motown Records and signed contracts with various record companies across the globe, and formed her own production company. The following year she released “Silk Electric,” on which she sang “Muscles,” a song written and produced by Michael Jackson.
After she sang a tribute song dedicated to the late Marvin Gaye, Ross scored another #1 song in 1986 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. After an eight-year absence, in 1989 she came back to Motown. Ross had gained more fame through concert appearances over the years, and in April 1993 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. That same year she was declared by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the most successful female singer of all times. Two years later she was honored with the Heritage Award for Lifetime Achievement on the Soul Train Awards. After receiving those honors, she came back to the studio in 1999 with “Every Day Is A New Day,” and the song reached the UK Top 10.
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