Diana Ross concert ticketsSee Diana Ross live in concert
Diana Ross was originally born Diane Ross on 26 March 1944 in Detroit, Michigan. She was the second of six children born to factory worker Fred Ross and teacher Ernestine Ross. With her friends Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard and Betty Anderson Ross formed the Primettes vocal quartet, aged just 15. In 1960, after replacing Anderson with Barbara Martin, they signed to local record label, Motown and changed their names to The Supremes. Martin left the group shortly after they signed to Motown and they decided to continue as a trio. The group's early singles, including 1961's I Want A Guy featured the tougher lead vocals of Ballard and were only minor hits. Gordy, already smitten with Ross, had plans to make her the lead singer. He felt her voice had more pop appeal and decided to hand the group over to his songwriting and production team of Holland, Dozier and Holland. A trio of No.1 records followed. Including the groundbreaking Where Did Our Love Go, Baby Love and Come See About Me. Ross's bright, seductive vocals completed the finger-clickin' pop sheen of the productions.
J-Lo and Mariah may be premier league divas but they can't hold a candle to Diana Ross. Ross' reputation was such that after she emerged from a two day prison spell in 2004 for drink driving, the prison guard was so star-struck that he was accused of letting Miss Ross do exactly what she wanted in jail. And in 1999 when she was allegedly groped by a female guard at Heathrow during a security check, Ms Ross groped back, grabbing the guard's breast. Clearly, not a woman to be messed with.
Ross's status as musical 'ledge' was assured when, as part of The Supremes, she notched up 12 US No 1 records and 20m sales, becoming the most successful and longest lasting female vocal group of the 60s. The Supremes success formed the launching pad for Berry Gordy's Motown assault on America.