As an early 75th birthday present to herself—and a treat for gazillions of fans—Diana Ross will perform live at the Grammy Awards on February 10, which is giving the broadcast understandably big buzz. What’s inconceivable is that Ross, despite a dozen nominations in her 60-year career, has never actually won a gilded phonograph statuette—except, of course, for the Lifetime Achievement honors she took home in 2012.
It takes a long time to get to be a diva!
The Detroit native rose to stardom as a fawn-like teen, flanked by friends Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard, in the Supremes—one of the most successful female groups of all time. Ross went solo in 1970, and throughout her musical journey amassed 42 No. 1 songs, 91 singles, and 59 albums. Throw in a Best Actress Oscar nod (for playing Billie Holiday in Lady Sings the Blues) and her role as a fashion designer in Mahogany (for which she designed the clothes) among other films, and you realize what a force of nature Diamond Diana truly is.
Our Endless Love for Diana Ross
Behind the scenes, Ross raised five children. “What’s important for me is to give them a well-rounded education and a mixture of people in their lives,” Ross told Andy Warhol in 1981. She did a stellar job, considering her now-grown kids’ accomplishments—without a hint of the troubles offspring of the famous often struggle with. As daughter and Blackish star Tracee Ellis Ross puts it: “The national treasure that is Diana Ross is a dim light compared with who she is as a mother.”
Die-hard Diana devotees who’ll find the Grammy appearance a tease, take note: Her Vegas residency at the Encore Theater runs through February 23, and select theaters will screen Diana Ross: Her Life, Love and Legacy, featuring her 1983 Central Park benefit concert, on March 26—the diva’s birthday.
As to that “D” word, Ross told Barbara Walters she’s fine with the title: “I like the idea that women are able today to take responsibility for their lives and have the strength of character to say, ‘I did this, I want credit for it,’” she declared. “It has to do with giving, it has to do with growth, it has to do with wisdom—it takes a long time to get to be a diva!”