CLEARWATER – Diana Ross will perform Friday, Jan. 11, 8 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater.
Tickets start at $62.75. Call 727-791-7400 or visit www.rutheckerdhall.com.
With a remarkable career spanning more than 50 years and hits such as “Stop! In The Name of Love,” “Endless Love,” “Aint No Mountain High Enough” and “When You Tell Me That You Love Me,” Ross is considered as one of the most successful recording artists and entertainers of all time.
From her landmark solo career to the early days as the leader of The Supremes, Ross helped shape the sound of popular music, changing the landscape and paving the way for contemporary music.
While still in high school, Ross became the fourth and final member of the Primettes, who recorded for Lu-Pine in 1960, signed to Motown Records in 1961 and then changed their name to the Supremes. She was a backing vocalist on the group’s early releases, until Motown boss Berry Gordy insisted that she become their lead singer, a role she retained for the next six years. In recognition of her prominent position in the Supremes, she received individual billing on all their releases from 1967 onwards.
Throughout her final years with the group, Ross was being groomed for a solo career under the close personal supervision of Gordy. In late 1969, he announced that Ross would be leaving the Supremes, and she played her final concert with the group in January 1970. The same year, following the relative failure of “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)”, Ross began a long series of successful solo releases with the U.S. chart-topping “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. She continued to enjoy success with lightweight love songs in the early ’70s, with “I’m Still Waiting” topping the UK charts in 1971, and “Touch Me In The Morning” becoming her second U.S. No. 1 in 1973.
In April 1971, she had married businessman Robert Silberstein. Motown’s plan to widen Ross’ appeal led her to host “Diana!,” a 1971 television special.
Her portrayal of Billie Holliday in the classic 1972 film “Lady Sings the Blues” resulted in an Oscar nomination and a trophy at the Golden Globe Awards. As a stage actress, she won Broadway’s top honor with a Tony Award for her one-woman show, “An Evening with Diana Ross.”
Ross’ international achievements were acknowledged by the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., in 2007, celebrating her career in music, film, television and theatre, as well as her cultural influences, humanitarian work and her contributions to American culture. The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences celebrated her remarkable career with its highest honor, The Gramm Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.