Legendary pop singer and actress Diana Ross will give a “very special performance” at tonight’s 2019 Grammy Awards airing at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT live from Los Angeles’ Staples Center.
Ross has racked up more than $100 million in sales and streams throughout her career and received the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
The award-winning legend has a net worth of $250 million dollars. Here’s everything you need to know about Diana Ross ahead of tonight’s performance.
1. Ross Got Her Start With the Successful Girl Group The Supremes in the ’60s
Ross rose to fame as the lead singer of The Supremes, a group that went on to become Motown’s most successful act and one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time. The group’s tracks are seemingly inescapable; The Supremes delivered hit after hit including songs like “Baby Love,” “Stop! In The Name Of Love,” “Come See About Me,” “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” “Where Did Our Love Go?”
In 1964, the group was nominated for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording at the 7th Annual Grammy Awards for the song “Baby Love.” The following year, “Stop In the Name of Love” was nominated for Best Contemporary (R&R) Performance by a Group (Vocal or Instrumental).
Ross made her final appearance with The Supremes in 1970 after 18 albums, seven of which were released under the name “Diana Ross and The Supremes.”
2. Ross Found Continued Success With Her Booming Solo Career
In June of 1970, Ross released her eponymous debut album to much fanfare and 500,000 sold copies. The album, which featured singles “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” a cover of the Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell song, earned her a Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammy nomination.
To date, Ross has released 25 solo studio albums and 91 singles. Seventeen of her songs have reached the Billboard Top 40. Twelve others have reached the Top 10, while six hit it big at number one.
Her tenth solo studio album diana proved to be her most successful selling ten million copies worldwide. It included the singles “Upside Down,” “I’m Coming Out,” and “My Old Piano.”
3. Ross’s Stage and Screen Career
In 1972, Ross starred in her first-ever feature film called Lady Sings the Blues. Ross played jazz singer Billie Holiday in the film that was loosely based on Holiday’s 1956 autobiography. The title was borrowed from one of Holiday’s most popular songs. The role earned Ross her first and only Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
Ross’s second film, Mahogany, was released in 1975 and reunited her with Billy Dee Williams, her co-star from Lady. Two years later, Ross starred in a film adaptation of the Broadway play The Wiz, an African-American adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The movie struggled to receive financing until Ross attached her name to the project. The role of the Scarecrow was played by Ross’s former Motown labelmate Michael Jackson.
Although it had all the makings for a huge success, the movie failed to connect with audiences. It was the most expensive musical produced at the time costing the studio $24 million, but the box office only brought in a paltry $13 million.
4. Ross Has Been Married Twice and Has Five Children
In 1965 Ross had a relationship with Motown CEO Berry Gordy. The relationship lasted several years and resulted in her first child, Rhonda Suzanne. While she was pregnant, she married music executive Robert Ellis Silberstein who raised Rhonda as his own. Ross had two more kids with Silberstein, Tracee Joy and Chudney Lane, in 1972 and 1975, respectively. The couple ultimately divorced in 1977.
Ross’s second husband was Norwegian shipping magnate Arne Næss Jr. The couple married in 1986 and had two sons together: Ross Arne born in 1987 and Evan Olav born in 1988. Ross and Næss divorced in 2000; the singer’s ex-husband died in 2004 after falling off a South African mountain in a climbing accident.
5. The Legacy of Diana Ross
Diana Ross’s career influenced tons of other artists like Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Madonna, Questlove, and more. The character of Deena Jones in the play and the subsequent film of Dreamgirls was also loosely inspired by Ross and her life in the industry.
Several of Ross’s songs have been covered and sampled by artists like Jennifer Lopez, Amy Winehouse, Janet Jackson, and Monica, among others. Even Notorious B.I.G. dipped into Ross’s catalogue, sampling “I’m Coming Out” for his smash 1997 hit “Mo Money Mo Problems.”
As a member of The Supremes, her songs “Stop! In the Name of Love” and “You Can’t Hurry Love” are among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame‘s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994, and entered into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2004, Rolling Stone placed the group at number 96 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.