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Women Music March #22 — Diana Ross

I remember when Lady Sings the Blues came out at the theater and how enthralled I was with it, how glamorous everyone looked and how fraught with emotion it was. I remember having the album and listening to it enough to pick favorite songs. This one is my favorite from it.

Diana Ross (born March 26, 1944) was born in Detroit, Michigan on March 26, 1944. She was the second-eldest child of Ernestine (née Moten; January 27, 1916 – October 9, 1984) and Fred Ross, Sr. (July 4, 1920 – November 21, 2007). Ross’s elder sister is American physician Barbara Ross-Lee.

According to Ross, her mother actually named her “Diane”, but, a clerical error resulted in her name being recorded as “Diana” on her birth certificate. She was listed as “Diane” during the first Supremes records, and she introduced herself as “Diane” until early in the group’s heyday. Her friends and family still call her “Diane.”

Miss Ross is an American singer, actress, and record producer. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Ross rose to fame as the lead singer of the vocal group The Supremes, who during the 1960s became Motown’s most successful act, and are the best-charting female group in US history, as well as one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time. The group released a record-setting twelve number one hit singles on the US Billboard Hot 100, including “Where Did Our Love Go”, “Baby Love”, “Come See About Me”, “Stop! In the Name of Love”, “You Can’t Hurry Love”, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”, “Love Child”, and “Someday We’ll Be Together.”

Following her departure from the Supremes in 1970, Ross released her eponymous debut solo album that same year, featuring the No. 1 Pop hit “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. She later released the album Touch Me in the Morning in 1973; its title track was her second solo No. 1 hit. She continued a successful solo career through the 1970s, which included hit albums like Mahogany and Diana Ross and their No. 1 hit singles, “Theme from Mahogany” and “Love Hangover”, respectively. Her 1980 album Diana produced another No. 1 single, “Upside Down”, as well as the international hit “I’m Coming Out”. Her final single with Motown during her initial run with the company achieved her sixth and final US number one Pop hit, the duet “Endless Love” featuring Lionel Richie, whose solo career was launched with its success.

Ross has also ventured into acting, with a Golden Globe Award-winning and Academy Award–nominated performance in the film Lady Sings the Blues (1972); she recorded its soundtrack, which became a number one hit. She also starred in two other feature films, Mahogany (1975) and The Wiz (1978), later acting in the television films Out of Darkness (1994), for which she also was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, and Double Platinum (1999.)

She is the only female artist to have number one singles as a solo artist; as the other half of a duet (Lionel Richie); as a member of a trio; and as an ensemble member (We are the World-USA for Africa). In 1976, Ross was named the “Female Entertainer of the Century” by Billboard magazine. In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared her the most successful female music artist in history, due to her success in the United States and United Kingdom for having more hits than any female artist in the charts, with a career total of 70 hit singles with her work with the Supremes and as a solo artist. She had a top 10 UK hit in every one of the last five decades, and sang lead on a top 75 hit single at least once every year from 1964 to 1996 in the UK, a period of 33 consecutive years and a record for any performer.

In 1988, Ross was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Supremes, alongside Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard. She was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2007, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016. Ross is also one of the few recording artists to have two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—one as a solo artist and the other as a member of the Supremes. In Billboard magazine’s Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Artists chart, she ranked 16th as the lead singer of the Supremes and 26th as a solo artist. Diana Ross ranks among the Top 5 artists of the rock era (1955 to date) on the Billboard Hot 100 when combining her solo and Supremes’ hits.

Lady Sings the Blues is the soundtrack to the Billie Holiday biopic of the same name, which starred Diana Ross in her screen debut in 1972. The album became Ross’ 4th #1 album (eventually selling over 2,000,000 US copies,) though the only one as a solo artist, on the U.S. Top 200 Billboard Albums Chart as a solo act, going to #2 on the U.S. Billboard R&B Album Chart, and #50 on the UK Albums Chart. It was certified gold on the UK for sales of over 100,000 copies. It was also the fourth best-selling R&B album and fifth best-selling Pop album of 1973.

Music writers said Ross emulated Billie Holiday’s voice while retaining her own individual sound. This soundtrack album was the only Motown album to have a special designed label to match the album cover on the vinyl release, rather than Motown’s usual “Map of Detroit” design. This label design would also turn up on the single releases from the soundtrack.

Mon Homme” is a popular song also known by its English translation, “My Man“. The song was originally composed by Maurice Yvain with French lyrics by Jacques-Charles (Jacques Mardochée Charles) and Albert Willemetz. The English lyrics were written by Channing Pollock.

Diana Ross performed the song in her final concert appearance as a Supreme at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 14, 1970. Her performance was recorded and later released on the 1970 live album Farewell. Ross adopted Holiday’s jazz and blues version rather than the Brice or Streisand versions. In 1972, Ross recorded “My Man” again for the soundtrack for the film Lady Sings the Blues, in which she portrayed Billie Holiday. The soundtrack album peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Pop albums chart, reportedly selling over 300,000 copies during its first eight days of release.

 

 

It’s caused me a lot
But there’s one thing that I got
It’s my man

Cold and wet
Tied you bet
All of that I’ll soon forget
With my man

He’s not much for looks
And no hero out of books
But I love him

Two or three girls has he
That he likes as well as me
But I love him

I don’t no why I should
He isn’t true
He beats me too
What can I do?

Oh my man, I love him so
He’ll never know
All my life is just despair
I don’t care
When he takes me in his arms
The world is right, all right

What’s the difference if I say
I’ll go away
When I know
I’ll come back on my knees some day
Whatever my man is
I am his for ever more

What’s the difference if I say
I’ll go away
When I know
I’ll come back on my knees some day
Whatever my man is
I am his for ever more
Songwriters: Boyle Lawrence /
Jacques Charles /
Albert Willemetz /
Morris Yvain /
Channing Pollock

14 thoughts on “Women Music March #22 — Diana Ross

  1. The Supreme. I do like her voice a lot. She has a nasal type voice like John Lennon had. I do like her stuff with the Supremes the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your posts. However, I have to tell you that I know for sure that your information for your Dolly Parton post and now Diana Ross both came from Wikipedia – pretty much word for word. Please note that I am not calling you out to be mean, I just wanted to remind you that even as a freelance writer/blogger it is still important for us to credit our sources either by just mentioning or linking the information. Again, I do love your posts!! Thanks and have a great night.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Rattled. A fellow blogger told me as long as I don’t quote more than 20% of the post, no attribution need be given, and I think that wikipedia is a free source that is being edited continually. If I quote from other sources, I do attribute them. If you can show me a legal finding saying what I’m doing is illegal, I’d be happy to see it. Thank you for taking the time to notice. BTW this is not a monetized blog; it’s for fun only.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Hey again. My buddy just sent me the guidelines, which I thought to share with you, even though your issue with my music posts is about principle rather than legality. If you want to see them, let me know.

          Like

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