The Motown scene would not be the same without Diana Ross’s familiar powerhouse voice. The world celebrated and was reminded of her achievements March 26 as she just celebrated her 75th birthday.
Ross was born March 26, 1944, in Detroit, where she first got her start as a singer. Ross is most known for being the lead vocalist of the renowned group, the Supremes. Starting off in the 1960s, the Supremes were the most popular act on their label, Motown Records.
Following the group’s rising success, Ross left in the 1970s to become a solo act. This catapulted her to even more stardom when she became one of the top-selling female artists in America. Some of her hit songs include “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (1970), “Love Hangover” (1976), “Endless Love” (1981) and “I’m Coming Out” (1980).
Antoinette Murray, applied faculty of the Shelby and Ferne Collinsworth School of Music, said Diana Ross herself and her music reached many different people.
“Besides the fact that she sang lead on most of the material The Supremes made, she is emotive. When you listen and watch Diana Ross, she makes you feel something,” Murray said. “She identifies with many different groups of people. In that way, she is a unifier and that is special.”
Leading up to her 75th birthday, Ross has been celebrating by reminiscing about her past. The past couple of weeks she has been posting old photographs and videos from her life on social media. At this year’s 61st Grammy Awards, Ross performed a birthday celebration in which she sang her songs “Best Years of My Life” (1993) and “Reach Out and Touch” (1970).
Almost 50 years since the start of her career, Ross is still creating music and performing to audiences everywhere. Her passion for music and her professionalism reminds the world why she was named Female Entertainer of the Century by Billboard magazine.
Selina Torres, senior film production major, said she discovered Ross at an early age, which helped her understand the impact she had in the world.
“When I was younger, I would hang out at my uncle and aunt’s house and one day my uncle was cleaning and heard her song “I’m Coming Out, “which is what caused me to know of her,” Torres said. “She most definitely raised the bar in her music based on the amount of songs that made it in the Top 100s.”
Diana Ross eventually earned a Guinness World Record for having a total of 70 hit singles, which is more than any female solo singer in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Kayla Josephson, senior psychology major, said people should know who Diana Ross is because she is considered one of the most influential performers of all time.
“Students should know who she is since she has had such a huge influence on music. She is one of the best female singers because she has a really good voice and a good stage presence,” Josephson said.
Ross is not letting her age stop her from doing what she loves and is not slowing down anytime soon. At 75 years old she is continuing to make her mark on the world.