Diana Ross: Young Supreme Hit Maker, Then And Now

By | March 24, 2021

test article image
Posed studio portrait of Diana Ross circa 1970. (Photo by RB/Redferns)

Diana Ross, born and bred in Detroit, came to fame as the lead singer of Motown’s number one group, The Supremes. Ross and The Supremes still hold the title for the top-selling female group of all time with 12 number hit singles including "Where Did Our Love Go," "Baby Love," "Come See About Me," and "Love Child." Continuing on after leaving The Supremes, Ross’s one-of-a-kind voice brought to life major hits like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “I’m Coming Out,” and “Upside Down.” In an era and industry dominated by men, Ross made an indelible mark, becoming Billboard magazine’s "Female Entertainer of the Century” in 1967.

Something In The Water

test article image
Certainly, there was no mountain high enough for Ross. (Lasvegasweekly)

Diana Ross, actually born Diane Ross, grew up in the Brewster-Douglass Projects, a place that was low on money but not on talent. In the same low-income housing facility, Smokey Robinson, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, and Betty McGlown all developed their famous sounds. Diana Ross’s sister, Barbara also became the first African-American woman named dean of a medical school.

Robinson even talked legendary Motown producer Berry Gordy into auditioning Ross and her girl group, then known as The Primettes, while they were still in high school. Gordy admitted in his autobiography that Ross’s voice "stopped me in my tracks" but didn’t sign the future Supremes until Ross was 16.