TORONTO — She belted out hit after hit with The Supremes before launching a wildly successful solo career. Her movie career started with an Oscar nomination. The word “diva” has long been associated with her name. She’s the mother of five and a grandmother of two.
She is Diana Ross and on Wednesday she celebrated her 70th birthday.
Born Diane Ross on March 26, 1944 to schoolteacher Ernestine and U.S. Army soldier Fred Ross Sr. in Detroit, she adopted the name Diana after a clerical error on her birth certificate.
At 15, she was recruited to sing in a group called the Primettes that went on to win a singing competition across the river in Windsor, Ont. and earned an audition for Motown Records.
Berry Gordy signed the group in 1961 and changed the name to The Supremes.
Recognizing Ross as the standout talent, Gordy changed the group’s name to Diana Ross & The Supremes in 1967.
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Three years later, Ross went solo.
With hits galore — both with The Supremes and on her own — Ross broke into movies. She earned an Oscar nomination for 1972’s Lady Sings the Blues and followed with roles in films like Mahogany and The Wiz.
In 1971, Ross married music executive Robert Silberstein while pregnant with Gordy’s child. Ross had two more daughters with Silberstein, whom she divorced in 1977.
Ross married billionaire Arne Naess Jr. in 1986 and they had two sons before divorcing in 2000.
In honour of her 70th birthday, here are 15 songs showcasing the timeless talent of Diana Ross:
You Can’t Hurry Love – The Supremes
Baby Love – The Supremes
Someday We’ll Be Together – The Supremes
Love Child – The Supremes
You Keep Me Hangin’ On – The Supremes
Come See About Me – The Supremes
I’m Coming Out – Diana Ross
Missing You – Diana Ross
Chain Reaction – Diana Ross
Upside Down – Diana Ross
Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand) – Diana Ross
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross
Love Hangover – Diana Ross
Do You Know Where You’re Going To? – Diana Ross