I’m an interpreter. So in a sense I am an actress first and foremost. I act out the songs, and I lead with my heart - Diana Ross
Motown darling Diana Ross, is not only iconic for her soulful singing chops but for her glamorous ensembles. Whether she was crooning for The Supremes, singing solo, or starring in Lady Sings the Blues, she always looked fabulous and emulated a passion for performance.
Beginning with The Supremes in the 60′s, Miss Ross served as costume designer, seamstress, hair stylist, and makeup-artist for the quartet. Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar served as her inspiration as she would model her designs after the high fashion styles they featured. Thanks to Ross, the Supremes were synonymous with their high-fashion gowns, wigs, and detailed makeup.
With Miss Ross leading the way, the group broke ground in the music world as they helped shape the Motown sound. Ross was unlike any other singer with her soft, yet powerful vocals.
The Supremes rose to fame through the 60′s, with hits like “When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes” and “Where Did the Love Go”. The group experienced great popularity through the 60′s, and often collaborated with Motown’s other best selling group, The Temptations. Together they created hits like ” Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”. Unfortunately as the 70′s approached, The Supremes began to unwind and thus began Ross’ solo career.
As Ross embarked on her solo career, she continued to sing duets with The Temptations and produced her own hits such as “I’m Still Waiting”. Perhaps her biggest venture as a solo artist was into the acting world. Her first big break as an actress was in 1971, when Motown announced she’d been chosen to portray jazz icon Billie Holiday. The film was called Lady Sings the Blues and was loosely based on Holiday’s 1956 autobiography of the same name. The film was a an extraordinary success, due in great part to Ross’s performace which received remarkable reviews.
Also a a notable film of her career, 1975′s Mahogony will always be celebrated for the beautiful wardrobe of Ross’s character. Playing the part of an aspiring fashion-designer, her character becomes a runway model and the “toast of the town”.
Miss Ross’s style has evolved throughout her career, whether it was the mod glamour of the 60′s or the disco era of the 70′s , she has reigned a Queen of fashion stardom. Her influence has stood strong through the years and will continue in years to come.